Greater ani

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Greater ani
Crotophaga major (Greater Ani).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Cuculiformes
Family: Cuculidae
Genus: Crotophaga
C. major
Binomial name
Crotophaga major
(Gmelin, 1788)
Crotophaga major map.svg

The greater ani (Crotophaga major) is a large bird in the cuckoo family. It is a breeding species from Panama and Trinidad through tropical South America to northern Argentina. It is sometimes referred to as the black cuckoo.

This ani is found in mangrove swamps, semi-open woodland near water, and the edges of forests. It is a seasonal migrant in at least some parts of its range. The nest, built communally by several pairs, is a deep cup lined with leaves and placed usually 2–5 m (6.6–16.4 ft) high in a tree. A number of females lay their chalky deep blue eggs in the nest and then share incubation and feeding. These breeding groups may also include non-breeding helpers.[2] Nests have been found containing 3–10 eggs. In a recent longterm study, it was found that around 15% of females lay their eggs in the nest of another nesting group. This conspecific brood parasitism happens primarily when a female has lost her own clutch to predation.[3]

Juvenile has black eyes. Canopy Camp - Darien Panama

The greater ani is about 48 cm (19 in) long and weighs 170 g (6.0 oz). The adult is mainly blue-glossed black, with a long tail, massive ridged black bill, and a white iris. Immature birds have a dark iris.

This is a very gregarious species, always found in noisy groups. The calls include croaking and turkey-like gobbling kro-koro. The greater ani feeds on large insects and even lizards and frogs.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Crotophaga major". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Riehl Christina; Strong Meghan J. (2018-04-11). "Stable social relationships between unrelated females increase individual fitness in a cooperative bird". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 285 (1876): 20180130. doi:10.1098/rspb.2018.0130. PMC 5904317. PMID 29643212.
  3. ^ Meghan J. Strong; Riehl, Christina (March 2019). "Social parasitism as an alternative reproductive tactic in a cooperatively breeding cuckoo". Nature. 567 (7746): 96–99. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-0981-1. ISSN 1476-4687. PMID 30814729.
  • Hilty, Steven L. (2003). Birds of Venezuela. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.
  • ffrench, Richard; O'Neill, John Patton; Eckelberry, Don R. (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd ed.). Ithaca, N.Y.: Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.

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