Number observed: 1
Comments: Well photographed first county record of Groove-billed Ani. Seen by many observers! Active and healthy looking bird in search of large orthopterans in small bushes along west side of park. I photographed it catching and eating one very large grasshopper and it was very interested in another along the footpath. The ani let out a squeak sound when it caught the grasshopper and flew in front of me under a bush where it killed and consumed it quickly.
I did photograph one of the large grasshoppers the ani was feeding on and identified it online as Gray Bird Grasshopper (Schistocerca nitens) a common orthopteran of southern California parks, gardens. Sometimes a pest species here on ornamentals. See photo attached. Related to the Desert Locust of Africa and Middle East.
Orthopterans are a favorite food of Groove-billed Ani and was nice to see the bird climbing around handily in small bushes and trees finding large food items.Media: