occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) RESIDENT: central and southern Florida; from the Bahamas south throughout the Antilles; on islands off Quintana Roo, Honduras, and Nicaragua; in southwestern Costa Rica, Panama, and South America from Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guianas south (west of the Andes) to western Ecuador and (east of the Andes) to northern Argentina (AOU 1983).
Length: 37 cm
Weight: 119 grams
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: ALL SEASONS: Open situations with brush or scrub, plantations, gardens, farmlands, and forest clearings. BREEDING: Nests in tree or shrub.
Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Home range of one group in Brazil reported to be 26 hectares (Souza 1995). In Florida, territoriality may break down at end of rainy season , and some groups form large nomadic flocks (Quinn and Startek-Foote 2000).
Comments: Eats mainly insects and small fruits; often forages on ground near cattle (Bent 1940).
Lives in small flocks.
Life History and Behavior
Clutch size 4-7; several females may lay eggs in single nest. Incubation 12-15 days, by both sexes and all group members. Eggs at nest bottom may not hatch. Young tended by group, leave nest at 10-11 days.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Crotophaga ani
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Crotophaga ani
Public Records: 7
Specimens with Barcodes: 10
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N3 - Vulnerable
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
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".
- BirdLife International (2012). "Crotophaga ani". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Smooth-billed ani". All About Birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
- Dunning Jr., John B., ed. (1992). CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.