Galapagos Species Checklist

Mimus macdonaldi Ridgway, 1890

Cucuve de Española, Española Mockingbird

Española Mockingbird in Española Island, Galapagos. Photo: David Anchundia, CDF.
Española Mockingbird in Española Island, Galapagos. Photo: David Anchundia, CDF.

The largest of all Galápagos mockingbirds.

Threats: After the eradication of goats, the risk related to habitat destruction disappeared. Threats on Espanola are probably now only related to introduced diseases. Pox like lesions have been reported and pox is known to affect juvenile survival in other species. The parasitic fly Philornis downsi has not yet been found on Española.










Taxon category: Accepted

Syn.: Nesomimus macdonaldi Ridgway, 1890 (Integrated Taxonomic Information System, 2021).

Taxon origin

Taxon origin: Endemic




Habitat preferences: Inhabits arid open lowland scrub, scrubby woodland with scattered trees (Bursera), arborescent cacti (Opuntia) and deciduous forest.

Feeding type: Polyphagous

arthropods, fruits, iguanas for ticks

Feeding preferences: Feeding on arthropods from the ground, centipedes, crabs, and lizards, but has also been observed swallowing a wide variety of fleshy fruits. Seeds in faeces make it a possible disperser of Galápagos as well as introduced plants. Occasionally peck on iguanas for ticks. Have been observed cracking eggs of sea birds and doves, drinking blood from wounded sea lions, marine iguanas albatross feet and nestling masked boobies, mainly during the dry season.

Trophic role: Omnivorous

Reproduction mode: Exclusively sexual

Reproductive biology: Form large groups (8 individuals) during reproduction but little sign of co-operative breeding.

Distribution origin: In common with all other Mimus, this species is closely related to species from North America and the Caribbean, rather than species from South America, indicating long distance dispersal.


Distribution: Present on Española Island.


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