Groove-billed Ani (Crotophaga sulcirostris)

Groove-billed Ani

[order] CUCULIFORMES | [family] Cuculidae | [latin] Crotophaga sulcirostris | [UK] Groove-billed Ani | [FR] Ani a bec cannele | [DE] Riefenschanbel-Ani | [ES] Ano pico surcado (Arg), Garrapatero Asurcado, Garrapatero Piquiestriado (Cr), Tijuil Pico Liso (HN) | [NL] Groefsnavelani


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Tapera sulcirostris
Crotophaga sulcirostris LA Mexico to Guyana and nw Argentina

Physical charateristics

A coal black, grackle-sized bird with a loose-jointed tail, short wings, and a deep bill with a high, curved, puffinlike ridge. Flight weak; alternately flaps and sails.

Listen to the sound of Groove-billed Ani

[audio: Ani.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 43 cm wingspan max.: 45 cm
size min.: 33 cm size max.: 37 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 7 days fledging max.: 10 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 4  
      eggs max.: 7  


Latin America : Mexico to Guyana and Northwest Argentina


Thick brush, overgrown pastures.
In the United States, found mostly where dense thickets are next to open grassland, pastures, or marshes, or at edges of low riverside woods. In the tropics, inhabits any kind of semi-open country in the lowlands, avoiding unbroken forest.


Often uses communal nest: 1 to 4 pairs work together to build nest, then the female of each pair lays eggs in the nest, and all adults help incubate the eggs. In addition to the breeding pairs, group may include extra adult “helpers.”
Nest: Site is in low tree, usually 5-15′ above ground, sometimes lower or higher. Nest (built by both sexes) is bulky and bowl-shaped, made of twigs, lined with green leaves.
Eggs: 3-4 (perhaps sometimes more) laid by each female in group. Eggs pale blue. Females may attempt to throw out each other’s eggs. Incubation by all adults in group (dominant male incubates at night), 13-14 days.

Young: Fed by all adults in group. Young climb out of nest after about 6-7 days, can fly poorly at about 10 days, can fly well at about 17 days. Sometimes 2 broods per year.

Feeding habits

Mostly large insects. Feeds on insects including gr
asshoppers, beetles, and others. May take external parasites from cattle. Also eats spiders, lizards, other small creatures. Will feed on small fruits and berries.
Forages mostly by hopping and running on the ground; will also forage in bushes, especially to eat berries. Often associates closely with cattle in open pastures, catching the insects flushed by the larger animals. Similarly, at edges of tropical forest,
will follow swarms of army ants to eat insects or other creatures flushed by the ants.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Groove-billed Ani status Least Concern


Gulf of Mexico to Argentina. A rare stray to southern Arizona; casual or accidental elsewhere. In the East, extending range eastward along Gulf; casual east to Florida Panhandle. Migration: Found year-ro
und in southern Texas, but more common there in summer. In winter, small numbers move north and east along Gulf Coast. Sometimes strays well north of breeding range, especially in fall.

Distribution map

Groove-billed Ani distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *