Mimids are exclusively a New World family, apart from vagrant records of three migratory North American species in Europe. Mimids occupy most of North and South America, being absent only from the boreal forest and tundra regions of North America (Newfoundland, Labrador, and the northern sections of the Canadian provinces across to Alaska), the Falkland Islands and extreme southern South America, and as breeding species, some parts of Central America. Mimids occur throughout the West Indies, Bermuda, and the Galápagos Islands. The greatest species diversity occurs in the southwestern United States and adjacent Mexico, but the largest generic diversity is found in the Caribbean, where there are a number of endemic, highly restricted genera. The mimids found throughout much of mainland South America are all closely related and very similar members of the genus Mimus. The Galápagos is home to a genus, Nesomimus, closely related to Mimus.

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