The anis are the three species of near-passerine birds in the genus Crotophaga of the cuckoo family. They are essentially tropical New World birds, although the range of two species just reaches the United States. Recent DNA evidence places them in the group Crotophaginae.
Unlike some cuckoos, the anis are not brood parasites, but nest communally, the cup nest being built by several pairs between 2–6 m high in a tree. A number of females lay their eggs in the nest and then share incubation and feeding.
The anis are large black birds with a long tail and a deep ridged black bill. Their flight is weak and wobbly, but they run well, and usually feed on the ground.
These are very gregarious species, always found in noisy groups. Anis feed on termites, large insects and even lizards and frogs. The claim that they will remove ticks and other parasites from grazing animals has been disputed; while there is no doubt that anis follow grazing animals in order to catch disturbed insects and will occasionally eat fallen ticks, there is no proof that they remove ticks from the animals' bodies.
Fossils of two ani species have been found from Pleistocene rocks, dated to between 1.8 million and 10,000 years ago.
|Groove-billed ani, Crotophaga sulcirostris|
|Image||Scientific name||Common Name||Distribution|
|Crotophaga major||Greater ani||from Panama and Trinidad through tropical South America to northern Argentina.|
|Crotophaga ani||Smooth-billed ani||Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, parts of Central America, south to western Ecuador, Brazil, and northern Argentina.|
|Crotophaga sulcirostris||Groove-billed ani||southern Texas, central Mexico and The Bahamas, through Central America, to northern Colombia and Venezuela, and coastal Ecuador and Peru|
Media related to Crotophaga at Wikimedia CommonsAnis
Anis (Arabic: أنيس) is a masculine given name. The meaning of the name Anis is "companion", "genial" or "close friend".Smooth-billed ani
The smooth-billed ani (Crotophaga ani) is a large near passerine bird in the cuckoo family. It is a resident breeding species from southern Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, parts of Central America, south to western Ecuador, Brazil, and northern Argentina.
This ani is found in open and semi-open country and areas under cultivation. The nest, built communally by several pairs, is a deep cup lined with leaves and placed usually 2–6 m (6.6–19.7 ft) high in a tree. A number of females lay their chalky blue eggs in the nest and then share incubation and feeding.
Each female is capable of laying up to seven eggs, and nests have been found containing up to 29 eggs, but it is rare for more than ten to hatch. Incubation is 13–15 days, with another 10 days to fledging. Up to three broods may be raised in a season, with the young of earlier broods helping to feed more recent chicks.
The smooth-billed ani is a mid-sized species, larger on average than the groove-billed ani but smaller than the greater ani. It measures 30–36 cm (12–14 in) in length and weighs 71–133 g (2.5–4.7 oz). The adult is mainly flat black, with a long tail, deep ridged black bill and a brown iris. The flight is weak and wobbly, but the bird runs well and usually feeds on the ground.
This is a very gregarious species, always found in noisy groups. The calls include a whining ooo-leeek. The smooth-billed ani feeds on termites, large insects and even lizards and frogs. They will occasionally remove ticks and other parasites from grazing animals.
This common and conspicuous species has greatly benefited from deforestation.
This species is called "el pijul" in Venezuelan folklore. It is mentioned in the popular Veracruz song "El Pijul".