Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Greater Ani

Crotophaga major
The Greater Ani is a large member of the Cuckoo family, identified by its black-blue feathers, long tail, and ridged bill. They also have white eyes, which differentiate them from the other Ani species.

These birds live in Central and South America, and live in small groups year round. These groups live within specific territories, and defend their ground by making loud, squawking calls. The Greater Ani is also a cooperative breeder. This means that several females in the group all lay eggs into a single nest, and then they all take care of the incubation and feeding duties. As many as ten eggs can be found in a single nest.

The Greater Ani feeds on insects like Crickets and Grasshoppers, as well as on Lizards and Frogs. Whether on the ground or in the trees, they are very jerky and clumsy in their movement.

The range of this species is quite large, and they are common throughout it. The population is listed as stable, and they have no major conservation threats at this time.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : South and Central  America
Size : Length up to 20in (50cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Cuculiformes
Family : Cuculidae -- Genus : Crotophaga -- Species : C. major

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