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Smooth-billed Ani

Smooth-billed Ani
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-09-22
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/2500 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-10-18 5:57
Viewed: 2046
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani) is a large near passerine bird in the cuckoo family. It is a resident breeding species from southern Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, parts of Central America, south to western Ecuador, Brazil, and northern Argentina.

This ani is found in open and semi-open country and areas under cultivation. The nest, built communally by several pairs, is a deep cup lined with leaves and placed usually 2–6 m high in a tree. A number of females lay their chalky blue eggs in the nest and then share incubation and feeding.

Each female is capable of laying up to seven eggs, and nests have been found containing up to 29 eggs, but it is rare for more than ten to hatch. Incubation is 13–15 days, with another 10 days to fledging. Up to three broods may be raised in a season, with the young of earlier broods helping to feed more recent chicks.

The Smooth-billed Ani is a mid-sized species, larger on average than the Groove-billed Ani but smaller than the Greater Ani. It measures 30–36 cm in length and weighs 71–133 g. The adult is mainly flat black, with a long tail, deep ridged black bill and a brown iris. The flight is weak and wobbly, but the bird runs well and usually feeds on the ground.

This is a very gregarious species, always found in noisy groups. The calls include a whining ooo-leeek. The Smooth-billed Ani feeds on termites, large insects and even lizards and frogs. They will occasionally remove ticks and other parasites from grazing animals.
This common and conspicuous species has greatly benefited from deforestation.

Source: Wikipedia

ramthakur, yiannis, kinglove, anel, Maynayquan has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,
What a strange looking bird for the Europeans.....Interesting shape and colors. As usual a perfect capture with lovely blurry background and very good focus.

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely bird in nice pose on beautiful lighting BG, fine details, wonderful colors and splendid shasrpness, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Quite an interesting looking Cuckoo from Brazil, Peter.
You have captured it in a fine pose.
The plain BG makes the bird and its floral perch stand out sharply.
Once again, a brilliant gift for all of us from your travel abroad.

Another fantastic bird Peter! Beautiful photo too! Nice pose, excellent composition, wonderful lighting and good sharpness.

Hello Peter
Very interesting bird,
perfect composition,
good sharpness and colour.
best wishes,

Hello Peter
Excellent setting for this interesting bird.
Good background and detail. Excellent composition.
regards yiannis

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-10-18 9:17]

Hi Peter,magnificent capture of this very rare guest of TN,perfect details to see this curious beack and great exposure too,the black plumage is always very difficult to take so well!Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

hallo Peter
super mooie opname met zeer goed achtergrond hij komt zo prachtig in beeld
super scherp en mooie kleuren
Vreemde snavel heeft deze vogel
pracht plaat weer
bedankt gr lou

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2013-10-18 11:03]

Hallo Peter,
Perfect shot ..
Excellent details, nice natural colors, beautiful composition.
Best wishes,

I love unique and this bird fits right in there. I love the shape of its beak. Great eye contact and like how you captured the bird on top of flowers where it almost looks like it is defying gravity.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2013-10-18 11:53]

Hi Peter,
Beautiful bird,nice colours and perfectly sharpness details
with nice blurred background.
Have a good weekend
Regards Jiri.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2013-10-18 12:06]

Hello Peter
Impressive capture with very nice details and exceptional sharpness.I love the excellent clarity and perfect focus.Regards siggi

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-10-18 17:19]

Hello Peter
such a beautiful black bird. Well seen in details and sharpness. What I really like is the gesture it gives. The smooth soft background render a wonderful contrast. The shiny black feathers stood out beautifully.
exciting view.


Hello Peter
這個角度非常的自然大方 羽毛黑的發亮
鳥的神情很自然 眼睛發亮

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2013-10-19 5:08]

Hello Peter,
You caught this Cuckoo-species with a very funny attitude. Seems to laugh! Fine colours, superb light, not easy with this black plumage. What concerns the composition, I'm not sure if there was another better possibility, difficult to say.
Have a nice weekend

  • Great 
  • hsn6a Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 0 N: 435] (8652)
  • [2013-10-19 5:38]

Hello Peter,
very different bird,good capture species,regards..

He Peter,
Amazing capture of this unseen bird! Excellent composition, sharpness, details, and colors. Very well done, my friend, and tfs. Having a great weekend!

Hallo Peter,
Ook 'n uitsonderlike beeld vir my hier in die suide. Uitstaande gehalte en perfekte liggaamshouding. Soos altyd 'n plesier om na te kyk. Beste groete.

Hello Peter,
Excellent capture of the expression and details are remarkable as usual.wonderful stance on the top of a branch with full of tiny flowers.TFS.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-10-21 19:10]

Hello Peter,
I'm not quite sure how it got the name Smooth Billed, as it appears very unusual to me:) I like the clarity and beautiful colors. Black is always a hard color to correctly expose, but you managed quite well in this instance. Well done!!

Ciao Peter. Excellent DOF indeed. Very good details and contrast.


Hello Peter,
Very lovely bird with great setting. The bird is communicating something up above as we see his/her beak is wide open. Nice capture

Hello Peter
Beau portrait de cet oiseau est très beau : la lumière et les détails sont très plaisants.
Merci pour cette découverte
Bon dimanche

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