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For the last several months or so I have been showing out-of-town birders
the Smooth-billed Anis by the Ft. Lauderdale Airport (along with many other
specialty birds).  I have been seeing 3-birds, two adults and one immature
bird or at least that is what I was seeing this spring!!!  Most of the time
I drive along the perimeter road on the south side of the Ft.
Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport to search for the birds.  They are found either
on the chain link fence, Coco Plum hedge or on the grass next to the hedge,
anywhere up or down the mile long hedge.  Most of the time I drive by get a
quick good look from the car and keep going I do it this way because of
traffic and airport security.  It is pretty hard to look towards the airport
with binoculars, scopes, and cameras etc. without drawing attention to
yourself.

Today I birded with Mike O’Malley from Tennessee to show him lots of
specialty birds as well as the Smooth-billed Ani.  We stopped to get good
looks at the Smooth-billed Anis I then looked closely this time at the
smaller immature Smooth-billed Ani (at least I thought it was), I said to
myself and later to Mike that gee that bird has grooves on its bill!  So yes
it is a Grove-billed Ani and yes I probably have assumed in the last few
months that it was an immature Smooth-billed Ani.  This is of course because
I never stop long enough to look closely at the birds because of airport
security.  When I realized that it was a Groove-billed Ani we parked the car
off the road and we both took photos of the bird.  This did not last long as
no less than three police cars showed up and made us move from the area.  I
was expecting this so I was fast with the camera and was lucky to get the
photos that I put on my website:  www.southfloridabirding.com
<http://www.southfloridabirding.com/>   Click on “Recent Rarities” and then
scroll down and click on page 2 for photos.

I also put a page up with photos of the two races of Cave Swallow that occur
in Florida, the West Indies race and the Mexican race.  Click on the home
page and then click on Cave Swallow.  I did this because there have been
sightings of both lately and I was able to dig up old photos of the Mexican
race bird.

Directions for the Groove-billed and Smooth-billed Anis:

From Ft. Lauderdale take the Griffin Road exit from I-95 this is just south
of the 595.  Go east on Griffin Road over the bridge, then go to the first
traffic light and turn left into I believe its Beltway Park?  Follow the
road in and back to the parking lot, park here and then walk north to the
fence of the park.  Here you will be looking towards the Ft. Lauderdale
Airport, look up or down the fence and hedge of the airport for the birds.
If you don’t see them this way walk east on the paved walking path until you
do see them.  Sometimes the birds are in the park itself so don’t overlook
anything that looks like a Boat-tailed Grackle because this could be an Ani.

Good luck,

Larry Manfredi
Homestead, FL.
E-mail:  [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
http://www.southfloridabirding.com <http://www.southfloridabirding.com/>

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