New bird story from our friend South of the Border

Anis to the Rescue!
Tropical woman's best friend is not a dog - it is an ani. Anis tell me where the ants are. When I see a group of anis progressing across my field I know they are just in front of a large, invisible, invasion of ants. They do not eat the ants but they find the crickets, who are frantically trying to get out of the ant's path, absolutely delicious. And so it was this morning, but the invasion was from my lower yard, up an 8 foot retaining wall, across the upper yard and toward the house. The ants were of a species named Ronda. How did I know this was happening?
Suddenly all the anis were screaming and dropping down to eat crickets - 15 or more in a tree and more on the ground. It was a Labor Day feast but Labor Day does not exist in Mexico. Duly alerted, Chencho(works for me) and I mounted our counter-attack. First the hose to push them back with water and, as a last resort, an on-the-back- tank of insect spray. We needed both. In about an hour the invasion was repulsed and the anis returned to their trees. We regret having to use insect spray on the Rondas - they eat insects and are useful - but their numbers are in the thousands and they are very determined about their instinctive pathways, which can be 20 feet wide. According to Chencho, they may try to invade again this afternoon. I hope the anis know this and tell me about it.

Charlotte Hignutt, our birding friend in Mexico

For information about the Ani, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ani_(bird)

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