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).
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!