My first Ani

 

Though I’d heard about local sightings since last year, I’d never seen the Smooth-billed Ani until a recent rainy morning. This unique-looking member of the Cuckoo family is found only in certain parts of south Florida, Central and South America, and the Caribbean (All About Birds).

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Smooth-billed Ani on a very overcast and drizzly morning.

According to the Audubon Society website:  “John James Audubon and other early naturalists failed to find the Smooth-billed Ani in Florida, but it became a regular nesting bird there during the 1930s and was fairly common for several decades. Recently it has become very scarce again and may disappear from Florida.”

Though its numbers are declining in Florida, it is not currently considered threatened. I was pleasantly surprised to observe several of them foraging in the marsh and flying about at a nearby refuge, totally unperturbed by a happy handful of human admirers!

 

 

 

27 thoughts on “My first Ani

    • Yes, their bill is surprisingly large and bulbous. Based on what I’ve read, they mostly eat small amphibians and lizards, snails, large insects & their larvae, seeds, and berries.

  1. A very nice find. Interesting that this tropical flyer is so “rare” and that his grackle cousin flourishes. I hope you see many more. Thanks.

  2. So unlike its beautiful cuckoo relatives. This is a fantastic shot, and you highlighted the birds head so nicely, but I still think they are homely.

  3. What a remarkable find and a fantastic photo.

    Went to Sanibel Island, but didn’t see spoonbill. Lots of other birds to photograph, though.

    Yesterday, I photographed a barred owlet at Pinecraft Park in Sarasota. That was a great sight to behold. The parent was nearby, but hidden behind too many branches. I’ll be going back there in a couple of weeks to photograph the owlet again.

    I will post the photo sometime next week on my blog.

    I can’t believe time is flying by so fast. Back home in MI end of April.

    Connie

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