Smooth-billed AniCrotophaga ani
14" (36 cm). Pigeon-sized. Black, with a very long tail half the length of the bird. Bill huge, with arched ridge and no grooves.
Slurred double note with a rising inflection that has a whining, metallic quality; quite different from that of the Groove-billed Ani.
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Open agricultural country, often near cattle or other livestock; also found in scrub and thickets.
Resident in southern Florida. Also in American tropics.
These birds have some peculiar traits. Usually several females lay eggs in a single nest, deposited in layers separated more or less by leaves or grass. Up to 30 eggs have been found in one nest. Those at the bottom do not hatch. The females share incubation, often two or more brooding simultaneously. Anis prefer cultivated country and rangelands, where they often alight on the backs of cattle to remove ticks.
3-5 blue-green (often stained) eggs in a bulky stick nest in dense vegetation.