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Smooth-billed Ani

Crotophaga ani ORDER: CUCULIFORMES FAMILY: CUCULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A bird of tropical savannahs in the Caribbean and South America, the Smooth-billed Ani reaches the United States only in southern Florida.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
11.8–14.2 in
30–36 cm
Weight
2.5–4.2 oz
71–119 g
Other Names
  • Ani à bec lisse (French)
  • Garrapatero pico liso (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Like other anis, the Smooth-billed Ani lives in small groups of one to five breeding pairs, and up to seventeen individuals. They defend a single territory and lay their eggs in one communal nest. All group members incubate the eggs and care for the young.
  • One member of a Smooth-billed Ani group often sits on a high perch and watches for danger while the rest forage.
  • Several Smooth-billed Ani females typically lay eggs and incubate in the same nest. Late-laying females bury the eggs of early-laying females with twigs and leaves, which can create a number of layers of eggs; only the top layer eventually hatches. As many as 36 eggs may be found in a single nest.
  • Juvenile Smooth-billed Anis from first broods stay with their natal group and help feed the second brood.

Habitat


Open Woodland

Open situations with brush or scrub, fields, plantations, gardens and forest clearings.

Food


Omnivore

Insects, other arthropods, lizards, frogs, and some fruit.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–36 eggs
Egg Description
Pale blue with a white, chalky outer layer.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless.
Nest Description

Open cup of twigs, lined with leaves. Placed in fork of dense, thorny bush or tree.

Nest Placement

Tree

Behavior


Ground Forager

Forages on ground and in trees and shrubs. Captures insects stirred up by grazing cattle and power mowers by scrambling through grass and along low tree branches and grabbing flushed prey.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Common in tropics; Florida population declining rapidly.

Credits

  • Quinn, J. S., and J. M. Startek-Foote. 2000. Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani). In The Birds of North America, No. 539 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Smooth-billed Ani Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings