The Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani) is a large near passerine bird in the Cuckoo family. It is larger on average than the Groove-billed Ani but smaller than the Greater Ani. It measures 12–14 inches in length and weighs 2.5–4.7 ounces. The adult is mainly flat black, with a long tail, deep ridged black bill, and a brown iris. It is a resident breeding species from southern Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, parts of Central America, south to western Ecuador, Brazil, and northern Argentina. [Wikipedia]
Smooth-billed Ani Facts [All About Birds]
- 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.