Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The omnivorous diet of the chalk-browed mockingbird consists of various insects, spiders, worms, fruit, seeds and berries, and occasionally the eggs and nestlings of other birds (2). Although this mockingbird forages mainly on the ground, it will regularly perch in low bushes or trees, especially during the breeding season when the males spend long periods singing (4). Breeding occurs from September to January with each monogamous pair often accompanied by several helpers that assist with territorial defence, nest-guarding and feeding of young. A clutch of three to four eggs is laid in a small, loosely constructed nest and incubated for 12 to 15 days. After hatching the young are confined to the nest for another 12 to 15 days, and are fed by the parents for around a week after fledging. The juveniles then remain in their parental territory through the non-breeding season and potentially as helpers over the subsequent breeding season (2). The nests of the chalk-browed mockingbird are commonly parasitized by shiny cowbirds which lay their own eggs in the nests of the mockingbirds (2) (5). This typically results in the mockingbird unwittingly incubating the eggs of the shiny cowbird and rearing its young, often to the detriment of its own (5) (6).
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Description

During Charles Darwin's voyage aboard the Beagle, the eminent naturalist was clearly taken by a bird he described in Uruguay as “possessing a song far superior to that of any other bird in the country” (3). This bird was the chalk-browed mockingbird, a small, ubiquitous passerine, with a conspicuous white supercillium, or 'eyebrow', sandwiched between a blackish eye stripe and a dark grey crown (2) (4). The upperparts of its body are predominately greyish brown, while the flight feathers and the long semi-erect tail are blackish, with white tips. Below, the throat and belly are greyish white, but the flanks are often streaked with darker markings. Across the chalk-browed mockingbird's broad range, four subspecies, which exhibit minor differences in body size, bill length and plumage, are currently recognised: Mimus saturninus saturninus, M. s. frater, M. s. arenaceus, and M. s. modulator (2).
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Distribution

Range

The chalk-browed mockingbird occurs in southern Suriname and in large parts of central, southern and northeastern Brazil, west into Bolivia and Paraguay, and south into Uruguay and northern Argentina (2) (4).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Found in a wide range of habitats including savannas, low woodland, bushland, palm swamp, pasture and urban parks and gardens (2). For the most part, it is only absent from densely forested areas and, at the other extreme, areas completely devoid of trees (2) (4).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Mimus saturninus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 8 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

AACCGATGATTATTCTCAACCAACCACAAAGATATCGGCACTCTCTACCTAATCTTCGGCGCGTGAGCCGGGATGGTAGGTACCGCCCTA---AGCCTCCTTATTCGAGCAGAGCTGGGTCAACCTGGAGCCCTACTAGGTGAC---GACCAGGTCTACAATGTAGTCGTTACAGCCCACGCTTTCGTAATAATCTTCTTTATGGTTATACCAATCATGATCGGGGGATTTGGAAACTGACTAGTCCCCCTAATG---ATTGGAGCCCCAGATATAGCATTCCCCCGAATAAACAACATAAGCTTTTGACTACTCCCCCCATCCTTCCTCCTACTCCTAGCATCCTCTACAGTAGAATCAGGGGCAGGAACAGGCTGAACCGTATACCCACCCCTGGCCGGCAACCTAGCCCACGCCGGAGCCTCAGTAGACCTG---GCTATTTTCTCCCTCCACCTGGCCGGTATCTCCTCAATTCTAGGGGCTATCAACTTCATCACAACAGCAATCAACATAAAACCACCCGCCCTCTCACAATACCAGACTCCCCTGTTCGTCTGATCAGTACTAATCACTGCAGTACTACTCCTCCTATCCCTCCCTGTCCTCGCCGCA---GGCATTACCATGCTCCTCACCGACCGCAACCTCAACACCACCTTCTTTGACCCAGCAGGAGGGGGAGACCCAGTACTCTACCAACACCTCTTCTGATTCTTTGGCCACCCAGAAGTCTACATCCTAATCCTCCCAGGATTTGGAATCATCTCTCACGTCGTGGCCTACTACTCAGGAAAAAAA---GAACCATTTGGCTATATAGGAATGGTATGAGCCATGCTATCCATCGGATTCCTAGGTTTCATCGTCTGAGCCCACCACATGTTCACAGTAGGAATGGATGTAGACACTCGAGCCTACTTCACATCCGCCACCATAATCATCGCTATCCCAACAGGAATCAAAGTGTTCAGCTGACTA---GCAACA
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Mimus saturninus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 7
Specimens with Barcodes: 9
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).
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Population

Population
The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'common' (Stotz et al. (1996).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Despite considerable nesting losses due to parasitism by the shiny cowbird, the chalk-browed mockingbird is very common through most of its wide range and is not believed to be under significant threat (2).
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Management

Conservation

There are no known conservation measures for the chalk-browed mockingbird but it does occur in several protected areas in Brazil and Argentina (2).
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Wikipedia

Chalk-browed mockingbird

The chalk-browed mockingbird (Mimus saturninus) is a bird found in most of Brazil, and parts of Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Suriname. It's a bird of open wooded areas, including urban and suburban gardens. It feeds on fruits, insects and small vertebrates.[2]

It has a large range (around 7,200,000 km²), and although its population has not been thoroughly surveyed, it is believed to be large as it is reported as "common" in parts of its range. It has been classified as Least concern by the IUCN. (BLI 2004)

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Mimus saturninus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Cf. José Felipe Monteiro Pereira, Aves e Pássaros Comuns do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Technical Books, 2008, ISBN 978-85-61368-00-5, page 117


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