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Smooth-billed Ani

ID Info
Silhouette CuckoosCuckoos
Smooth-billed AniCrotophaga ani
  • ORDER: Cuculiformes
  • FAMILY: Cuculidae

Basic Description

An ungainly bird that seems only loosely stitched together as it moves, the Smooth-billed Ani is a glossy black cuckoo with an oversized bill. Almost always seen in groups, these birds traipse through tangled, shrubby habitats in the tropics of South America and the Caribbean; there's also a small and declining population in Florida. They eat insects and lizards as well as fruit, especially during the dry season. Groups do almost everything together, with females laying all their eggs in a single communal nest tended by all group members.

More ID Info
image of range map for Smooth-billed Ani
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

In their Caribbean and Central/South American range, Smooth-billed Anis are relatively common in wet, shrubby or thorny habitat. Look for them early in the morning, when they are most conspicuous and vocal. Finding Smooth-billed Anis in Florida is difficult: this once-common bird has become very scarce. Try using eBird or other sources of local knowledge to track them down, as it is a needle in a haystack to find one otherwise.

Other Names

  • Garrapatero Aní (Spanish)
  • Ani à bec lisse (French)
  • Cool Facts