OK, so we know it's just a Smooth-billed Ani, but it's an American-born and raised SB Ani, and that's the key. The bird shown here was part of a group of four Anis seen near the Ft. Lauderdale airport yesterday at about 4:00. While this group of birds is probably not the only family group of SB Anis left in the U.S., it appears to be the only group that is re-findable, at least on an irregular basis.
We dipped on the Western Spindalis, but that particular bird may be around to chase for a while, and they do show up in Florida from time to time anyway.
Regular readers know that our pet peeve is out-of-town birders who travel to other places and don't timely report rare birds they claim to have seen. So it's time to give credit where credit is due: Three cheers to our Hero of the Day:
Birder Michael Smith from Gardiner Maine!
Michael and his group posted their results from a short trip to Florida on the local listserve, and they the following directions to a slightly new spot for the Anis:
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI - 4 found along Old Griffon Rd near the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. There is a small scrubby "field" along this road where a power line comes through, with huge power poles in it. The anis were in this field, check in the shrubby growth and palms on the corners.
And that's exactly where we found them, right behind a large warehouse just off of Old Griffon (or is it Griffen?) Road.