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Groove-billed Anis, Communal Nesters

20 eggs in one nest? Wow!

Groove-billed Anis gather in loose groups. And with good reason. They nest communally. As many as four or five pairs of birds may use one nest, a bulky cup of twigs lined with fresh leaves. When the dominant female ani begins to lay her own eggs, the other females lay simultaneously. Up to 20 chalky white eggs have been found in one nest. All parents share the duties of incubating and raising the young. World Birding Centers and the Rio Grande Joint Venture are striving to protect and restore their habitat.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Groove-billed Anis – Communal Nesters

Written by Frances Wood

This is BirdNote!

If you’ve ever spent time in the extreme southern U.S., you may have heard this jumble of sounds coming from open, brushy habitat. What you’re hearing is a Groove-billed Ani. [Groove-billed Ani vocalizations]

Anis are all-black, disheveled-looking birds with drooping wings, spread tails, and shaggy black plumage. Their long tails seem disjointed from their bodies, as if raised and lowered by a puppeteer’s strings. The ani’s large, flattened bill spits out these sharp, high whistles, slurred whinings, and various squeaks, pips, and growls. [Groove-billed Ani vocalizations]

These birds gather in loose groups. And with good reason. They nest communally. As many as four five pairs of birds may use one nest, a bulky cup of twigs lined with fresh leaves. 

When the dominant female ani begins to lay her own eggs, the other females lay simultaneously. Up to 20 chalky white eggs have been found in one nest. All parents share the duties of incubating and raising the young. [Groove-billed Ani vocalizations]

BirdNote writers include Bob Sundstrom, Todd Peterson, Dennis Paulson, Chris Peterson and Ellen Blackstone. I’m Michael Stein.

###

Call of the Groove-billed Ani provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by G.A. Keller
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson / Dominic Black
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org      August 2011 / 2017   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# SotB-GBAN-01-2011-08-24    orig: 080707GBANKPLU

* State of the Birds Report 2009

** Rio Grande Joint Venture currently includes Texas Parks and Wildlife, Audubon Texas, Pro Natura Noreste, US Fish & Wildlife Service, American Bird Conservancy, DUMAC, Ducks Unlimited de Mexico, Comision Nacional  de Areas Naturales Protegidas, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Park Service, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, and The Nature Conservancy.

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