Crazy About Birds

By Kimb

Smooth-billed Ani

If any of you are crossword puzzle fans you may have encountered the "ani" - one of the filler words crossword puzzle creators here in the USA use fairly regularly. I guess I knew it was a bird - from the clues - maybe even a black bird, but until I started going on birding trips to Central and South America I never encountered one. This is an Ani. Here in Panama there are two types of Ani: Greater and Smooth-billed. This is the latter. We were looking at it way far off in a tree, hiding behind leaves, and then it suddenly decided to be really helpful and flew over to the road where we were standing and had a drink from a puddle right in front of us. Amazing.

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