Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Carib speciality - redux

As I said last week this is a Smooth-billed Ani:

smooth billed ani

Its a cuckoo-type thingy; but its the closest we get to a parrot. They tend to flock and feed in small groups of 5-10 and chat to each other a lot (to the extent they are the only bird here I can pick 100% on call). I believe there is still the odd small colony on the US mainland but if you come down here you should see plenty.

I wanted to add a little more detail though. This is how I regularly see them....


These two are sat in one of the trees in front of my house. I think this area used to be some sort of market garden as many of the trees provide edible fruit but almost all are now overgrown with the plant with the purple flowers. That's a wild sweet potato and they seem to have taken over. The anis love them and I usually see flocks of them sitting in the trees playing and eating the flowers. They like to dig in so you often get this view of one full bird and then a tail or wing sticking out here or there around it. Playing like this and being so vocal they're great fun to watch but they also give me a handy heads-up if one of our raptors pops over too so I get an added bonus.


Island Rambles Blog said...

Wow this is a great picture...I have never even heard of this bird...I must look it up...great blog...cheers.

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