Greater Ani

The Greater Anis (Crotophaga major) is also known as “Black Cuckoo”, named for the color of the plumage.

These large cuckoos occur naturally in Panama and Trinidad through tropical South America to northern Argentina. At least in parts of its natural range, they are seasonal migrants.

These anis inhabit mangrove swamps, semi-open woodland near water, and the edges of forests.

Greater Ani


The Greater Ani is about 48 cm long and weighs 170 g.

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.

Breeding / Nesting

The deep cup nest is built communally by several pairs. It s lined with leaves and situated about 2 – 5 meters high in trees.

Several females will lay their pale blue eggs into the nest and share incubation and feeding.

The nest may containing 3 – 10 eggs.

Calls / Vocalization

This gregarious species occurs in noisy groups. Their calls are described as croaking and turkey-like gobbling kro-koro.

Breeding / Nesting

The Greater Anis mostly feed on large insects, but will also take lizards and frogs.

Photo of author

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