Mockingbirds, Old World Starlings and Thrushes

The first gallery shows photos of Mockingbirds (Mimidae), the second Old World Starlings (Sturnidae) and the third Thrushes (Turdidae). All three families are part of Muscicapoidea placed in Passeriformes, Taxonomy note below refers. Mockingbirds are New World rather dull medium-sized omnivorous thrush-like birds found in open woodland, scrub, and deserts. OW starlings are small to medium-sized birds often with iridescent colours found in a variety of habitats including urban areas. Thrushes have a global distribution with a vast array of habitats.


Mockingbird Notes

All species featured in the gallery are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’ except for the ‘Endangered’ San Cristobal Mockingbird and ‘Vulnerable’ Espanola Mockingbird. The Tropical Mockingbird is a Trinidad and Tobago subspecies. I managed to photograph all the Galapagos endemic mockingbird species and sub-species that are present on accessible visitor islands.

There are four endemic mockingbird species: (1) Galapagos (Mimus parvulus); (2) San Cristobal (M. melanotis); (3) Espanola (M. macdonaldi); and (4) Floreana (M. trifasciatus) which only inhabits two small satellite islands that are not accessible to visitors.

Galapagos Mockingbird (Mimus parvulus) has six subspecies; four inhabit islands that are visitor accessible. The images show four sub-species that I photographed on: (1) Santa Cruz (M.p. parvulus) nominate; (2) Santiago (M.p. personatus); (3) Santa Fe (M.p. barringtoni); and (4) Genovesa (M.p. bauri). The nominate species Mimus parvulus range comprises the islands of Isabela, Fernandina, Daphne, Santa Cruz’s nearby islets. Sub-species identification is by the location where photographed.

Old World Starlings

Old World Starling Notes

Displayed species in the gallery are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’ except for the ‘Vulnerable’ Javan Myna. I photographed the mynas and glossy starlings in Singapore. Local photographers often overlook these species as they are so common. Although the Javan myna is a common introduced resident, I’ve found it quite hard to find, unlike the common myna. I’m as probably guilty; I’ve not bothered with starlings in the UK even when visiting my garden. Over the last few years, this species has rarely visited my garden, so now when I need some images, I’ve relied on introductions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand.


Thrush Notes

The species shown in the gallery are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’ except for the ‘Near Threatened’ Redwing. I photographed the New World species in Trinidad and Ecuador and the Old Word species in England and Australasia. The Redwing rarely visits gardens, but several visited my garden to feed during the harsh winter of 2012/13.

Mockingbirds, Old World Starlings and Thrushes Taxonomy

The figure shows a simplified taxonomy family tree relevant to the Mockingbirds, Old World Starlings and Thrushes photo album and a second Muscicapoidea and Allies photo album.

J Boyd’s Taxonomy in Flux Checklist breaks Muscicapoidea into two clades. The first clade contains:
(a) Thrushes (Turdidae).
While the second clade comprises:
(a) Mockingbirds (Mimidae),
(b) OW Starlings (Sturnidae).