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Species Guide
A photo of a Groove-billed Ani (Crotophaga sulcirostris)
Groove-billed Ani

Groove-billed Ani

Crotophaga sulcirostris

The Groove-billed Ani, Crotophaga sulcirostris, is a distinctive tropical bird belonging to the cuckoo family. It is characterized by its long tail and an impressively large, curved beak adorned with longitudinal grooves. This bird's plumage is entirely black, and it possesses a wingspan of 41-46 cm (16-18 in), with a body length of about 34 cm (13 in) and a weight ranging from 70–90 g (2.5–3.2 oz).

Identification Tips

When identifying the Groove-billed Ani, look for its very long tail, which is nearly as long as its body, and its massive bill with grooves running the length of the upper mandible. In flight, this bird exhibits a pattern of quick, choppy flaps followed by short glides. It can be confused with the Smooth-billed Ani, but the two can be differentiated by their vocalizations and geographic range.


The Groove-billed Ani is typically found in open and semi-open landscapes, including pastures, savannas, and orchards. It thrives in these environments where it can forage and live in small communal groups.


This bird is a resident species across its range, which extends from southern Texas, central Mexico, and The Bahamas, through Central America, to northern Colombia and Venezuela, as well as coastal regions of Ecuador and Peru. It retreats from the northernmost parts of its range in Texas and northern Mexico during the winter months.


The Groove-billed Ani is a social creature, living in small groups consisting of one to five breeding pairs. These groups defend a shared territory and collaborate in nesting activities within a single communal nest.


All members of the Groove-billed Ani group partake in incubating the eggs and caring for the young, demonstrating a remarkable example of cooperative breeding.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Groove-billed Ani is varied, including insects, seeds, and fruits, which it forages from its open habitat.

Conservation status

The Groove-billed Ani is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, ensuring its continued survival and protection from human threats.

Groove-billed Ani Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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