Anis (Crotophagidae / Crotophaginae)

Anis are essentially tropical New World birds, although the range of two species just reaches the United States.

These gregarious species are usually found in noisy flocks.


The anis are large black birds. The tail is long and the black bill is deeply ridged.

Their flight is described as weak and wobbly, but they run well.

Nesting / Breeding:

Anis nest communally. The cup nest is built by several pairs and placed between 2-6 m high in a tree.

A number of females lay their eggs in the nest and then share incubation and feeding.

Diet / Feeding:

Anis mostly feed on termites, large insects, and even lizards and frogs. They usually feed on the ground.


    • Greater Ani, Crotophaga major
    • Smooth-billed Ani, Crotophaga ani
    • Groove-billed Ani, Crotophaga sulcirostris
      • Cabo San Lucas Groove-billed Ani, Crotophaga sulcirostris pallidula – probably invalid; extinct (c.1940)
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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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