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Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani


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Smooth-billed Ani
credit: Mdf/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Cuculidae, Cuckoos, Roadrunners, Anis view all from this family

Description ADULT Has shaggy black plumage; in good light, note the purplish, oily sheen to many of the feathers. Tail is long and broadens toward the tip; wings are relatively short and rounded. Bill is laterally flattened and smooth with a pronounced dorsal ridge; latter feature is useful for separation from vagrant adult Groove-billed Ani. JUVENILE Similar to adult.

Dimensions Length: 14" (36 cm)

Habitat Widespread in Central and South America, with a resident population in southern Florida. Here it favors open areas of scrub and grassland.

Observation Tips Usually fairly easy to see in southern Florida and typically tame and indifferent to the presence of people. Groove-billed Ani is a rare vagrant to Florida, so be aware of the outside possibility of its occurrence there.

Range Florida

Voice Utters a distinctive, upslurred kwerr'ipp, distinctly different from that of Groove-billed Ani.

Discussion A Florida specialty and, within its range, unmistakable on account of its mostly black plumage, huge bill, and extremely long tail. Often seen in small groups that usually comprise up to 15 or so individuals, of which several will be breeding pairs; nesting is a cooperative affair. Members of group interact with one another constantly. Flight is rather weak and frequently includes low glides; usually adopts an upright posture when perched. Feeds mainly on insects and other invertebrates, but sometimes also fruits and seeds. Sexes are similar.