Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Karungkuruvi - "smooth-billed Ani"

 For a novice like me – there are birds, the ones that fly ! – Crows, Pigeons, Parrots, Mynah, sparrows and lil more !!  

When you spend time in open nearer trees, you get to see more ! – often wonder what they are  - looking different ! – I end up with google image search and name it – today what looked like a black drango, Google said “smooth-billed ani” 

The drongos are a family, Dicruridae, of passerine bird,  mostly black or dark grey, short-legged birds, with an upright stance when perched. They have forked tails and some have elaborate tail decorations. They feed on insects and small birds, which they catch in flight or on the ground. Some species are accomplished mimics and have a variety of alarm calls, to which other birds and animals often respond. They are known to utter fake alarm calls that scare other animals off food, which the drongo then claims. 

The smooth-billed ani (Crotophaga ani) is a bird in the cuckoo family.  Native of  southern Florida, the Caribbean, parts of Central America, south to western Ecuador, Brazil, northern Argentina and southern Chile, it  was introduced to Galápagos around the 1960s and is potentially impacting native and endemic species across the archipelago. 

The smooth-billed ani was described and illustrated in 1648 by the German naturalist Georg Marcgrave in his Historia Naturalis Brasiliae. He used the name "Ani" but did not explain the origin of the word. It probably comes from the word Anim in the Tupi language which means "social bird".  In 1756 the Irish physician Patrick Browne used the name Crotophaga for the species in his The Civil and Natural History of Jamaica. Browne's name combines the Ancient Greek krotōn meaning "tick" with -phagos meaning "-eating". 

Not sure whether it is normal spotting in India, that too in  Hyderabad -  Allabout birds describes it to be an  ungainly bird that seems only loosely stitched together as it moves, the Smooth-billed Ani is a glossy black cuckoo with an oversized bill.   They eat insects and lizards as well as fruit, especially during the dry season. Groups do almost everything together, with females laying all their eggs in a single communal nest tended by all group members  !!!


To me, it was not ungainly but looked quite attractive in the background of leaves that had raindrops on that morning at Hyderabad a few months ago ! for all that it may not be “smooth-billed Ani” but some poor local cousin !! 

With regards – S.Sampathkumar

No comments:

Post a Comment