Smooth-billed Anis, Bahamas (Paul Harding)


The Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani) – aka Cemetery Bird – is the third member of the cuckoo family found on Abaco, the others being the MANGROVE CUCKOO and the YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO. You can (it’s voluntary) find out more about them in an earlier article HERE. 

I have returned to these engagingly gregarious birds and their raucous ways because Paul Harding has recently captured a sequence of  a small group of anis behaving so endearingly that they are irresistible. Not for them the oddly incompetent fluttering flight, nor the disorganised, unbalanced landing technique. It’s simply a matter of getting settled on a branch, and then making room for one more in the middle (or perhaps resisting it…).


There were 4 on the branch…Smooth-billed Anis, Bahamas (Paul Harding)

Hey – make room for another one…Smooth-billed Anis, Bahamas (Paul Harding)

Budge up, guys, I mean C’mon…Smooth-billed Anis, Bahamas (Paul Harding)

Yay, I’m in… a bit squished but…Smooth-billed Anis, Bahamas (Paul Harding)

Um… guys, I can’t breathe…Smooth-billed Anis, Bahamas (Paul Harding)

 That’s better… all settled now….Smooth-billed Anis, Bahamas (Paul Harding)

Let the racket begin!

Credits: all terrific pics, Paul Harding; sound files, Xeno Canto

7 thoughts on “STAR ANIS ON ABACO

  1. Great photo series :-). And I enjoyed the sounds too. It’s so amusing how closely they all packed together. Do you happen to know why birds 2 and 3 from the right have different looking bills? Their bills have more cracks in them and the upper curve of the bill is notched and looks less glossy and the edge looks sharper. Maybe it’s just chance…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great question :-). No idea. Can’t find much about the beaks, just a few general drawings. Difference in age? Gender? My theory is that, as communal living birds ‘all in the nest together’, so to speak, their gangs are randomly made up of birds from different families. Maybe the twins from the ‘cracked notched sharp-edged beak’ family (the CNSEBs) are hanging out with the ‘standard ani beak triplets’ (the SABTs). Does that pass as a working hypothesis? RH

      Liked by 1 person


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