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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Groove-billed Ani -- Crotophaga sulcirostris


RANGE: Resident in central and southern Texas and southern Louisiana south through Mexico and Central America to South America.

STATUS: Common to uncommon.

HABITAT: Tolerant of a wide range of ecological conditions, inhabiting brushy pastures, orchards, light second growth, lawns and clearings near homes, marshes, and moist thickets along rivers. Also found in semi-desert areas with scattered cacti and acacias and thickets of ebony blackbead, mesquite, and Jerusalem-thorn. Frequently accompanies livestock, which stir insects from the grass.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Open areas with low vegetation for foraging, and trees and bushes for roosting and nesting.

NEST: Builds nest from 2 to 25 feet up in densely foliated trees or, in arid regions, in opuntias and other cacti. May nest singly or communally, with several females laying their eggs in a single nest.

FOOD: Forages in pastures and farm fields, feeding on insects stirred up by cattle. Eats mainly insects, including grasshoppers, termites, and roaches, plus spiders, small lizards, and berries.

REFERENCES: Kaufman in Farrand 1983b, Oberholser 1974a, Skutch 1959, Terres 1980.


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