Groove-billed Ani: Medium-sized black bird with iridescent blue and green overtones, with a very long tail (half the length of the bird). Bill is huge, with arched ridge and narrow grooves. Feeds on insects, ticks, spiders, lizards, fruits, berries and seeds. Flies low to the ground.
Range and Habitat
Groove-billed Ani: Resident in lower Rio Grande Valley; also occurs in American tropics. Preferred habitats include semi-open habitats, avoiding unbroken forests, including overgrown fields, thickets, and woodland edges.
The Groove-billed Ani lives in small groups of one to five breeding pairs. They defend a single territory and lay their eggs in one communal nest. All group members incubate the eggs and care for the young.
In flight, their long tail, which appears as if on a hinge, swings up and down and from side to side like a pendulum, and looks as though it might drop off.
Its membership in the cuckoo family is revealed by its two-toes-foreward, two-toes-back foot arrangement.
A group of anis are collectively known as a "cooch", "orphanage", and "silliness" of anis.
The Groove-billed Ani has a large range, estimated globally at 2,600,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas, this bird prefers a shrubland, grassland, or wetland ecosystem, though it sometimes resides in degraded former forests as well. The population of the bird is estimated at 500,000 to 5,000,000 individuals globally and has not shown signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. Because of current population trends, the Groove-billed Ani has an evaluation status of Least Concern.