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)

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. Nests have been found containing 3–10 eggs.

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. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  • 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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