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Groove-billed Ani

Silhouette CuckoosCuckoos
Groove-billed AniCrotophaga sulcirostris
  • ORDER: Cuculiformes
  • FAMILY: Cuculidae

Basic Description

A loose-limbed, disheveled-looking bird of tropical dry country, the Groove-billed Ani is always entertaining. These all-black cuckoos have curiously tall, flattened bills marked with narrow grooves, which they use to catch large insects and small lizards. They are amusing to watch as they clamber and flop through bushes and thorny scrub, but these exaggerated movements have a purpose: they help flush prey from their hiding places. Like other ani species, Groove-billed Anis live in groups, maintain a collective territory, and keep their eggs in a single nest.

More ID Info
image of range map for Groove-billed Ani
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Groove-billed Anis are common in dry tropical lowlands and may also be found in South Texas. Look for them in open, shrubby, thorny, or brushy habitat, or around cows or army ants. They travel in groups and are surprisingly good at remaining hidden—so if you see one emerge from a dense shrub, keep watching for more. Early in the morning they often perch in low shrubby vegetation to catch the rays of sun. Listen also for their incisive, squeal-like tsweeuw call.

Other Names

  • Garrapatero Asurcado (Spanish)
  • Ani à bec cannelé (French)
  • Cool Facts