© Sunny Phillips
This large member of the cuckoo family apparently arrived in Florida from the Caribbean in the late 1800s, without assistance from humans. Its population reached more than 1,000 individuals by the mid 20th century, but began declining in the 1970s and has never recovered. Christmas Bird Counts in the mid 1990s revealed only 24 individuals, and although a few individuals are occasionally spotted in south Florida and the Keys, this bird will probably become extirpated from Florida soon (at least as a breeding species). A few individuals still persist near the Fort Lauderdale airport; in the last couple of years several ani's have been found in the Miami area and the lower keys (breeding is suspected in the keys). Visit Tropical Audubon's Bird Board for latest sightings.
Recommended GFBWT site:
- Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park (September 2012 & June 2013)
- Long Key State Park (June 2013)
- Dry Tortugas National Park (June 2013)
- Everglades National Park: Main Entrance (Eco Pond area December 2012)
- Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park (October 2012)
For more information, including a range map and sound recording, visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website.
Smooth-billed Anis prefer open, often disturbed, habitats such as fields and forest clearings, and also live in suburban areas.