July 8: I have been largely out of commission since the Colorado “chickens” trip because of back issues, which finally necessitated surgery for a herniated disc. Happily that is resolved now and field trips are at last possible again. This morning I finally got out to look for the pair of Smooth-billed Anis that were recently discovered building a nest at Loxahatchee NWR in Boynton Beach, FL, which conveniently happens to be just ten minutes from home. A few minutes after I arrived at 8:25 AM, the pair briefly called to one another and then the (presumed) female flew into the cabbage palm nesting tree not to be seen again, while the other (presumed male) made repeated forays into neighboring trees to gather nesting material.
This is a species that hasn’t been regular here in South Florida since 2007 when there was a small group in the Old Griffen Road neighborhood just south of Fort Lauderdale Airport.