Smooth-billed Ani

Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani) on a lotus seedpod in the Botanical Gardens, Georgetown, Guyana (Photo by Kester Clarke www.kesterclarke.net)

The smooth-billed ani (Crotophaga ani) is a large near passerine bird in the cuckoo family. 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.

The adult is mainly flat black, with a long tail, deep ridged black bill and a brown iris. The flight is weak and wobbly, but the bird runs well and usually forages the ground.

The smooth-billed ani feeds on termites, large insects and even lizards and frogs. They will occasionally remove ticks and other parasites from grazing animals.

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