OVENBIRD

OVENBIRD(Seiurus aurocapilla) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Ovenbird upper parts are brown with a tinge of olive, and the under parts are white with dark brown streaks. There’s a dark orange-gold head crest edged with two fine brown bars. The eyes are black with a white eye ring. The bill, legs and feet are pinkish grey. Sexes are similar. It is a rather large wood warbler, at approximately 15 cm (6 inches) long.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Seiurus-aurocapilla – Ovenbirds are known for their loud songs – relative to their size.
NAME: The English name ‘Ovenbird’ stems from the type of nest for this bird (see below). The genus  Latin name ‘Seiurus’ means ‘to shake’, and ‘tail’. The Latin species name ‘aurocapilla’ means ‘gold hair’.
HABITAT: Mature mixed forests preferred.
DIET: Forage for insects and other invertebrates on the forest floor, also on tree trunks. Also catch insects on the fly. Eat berries in the winter. Frequently bob or flick the tail (hence Latin genus name).
NESTING: The nest looks like an old-fashioned outdoor oven (hence the bird’s name). Built on the ground with a side entrance. Well camouflaged, but still predated upon (chipmunks for example). Three to five white eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Chicks fed by both parents. Brown-headed Cowbirds are known to parasitize the nests.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeds in forests of Canada and eastern USA. Winters in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. Vagrants have been recorded in Europe. (See note below on bird vagrancy.)
Distribution map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovenbird#/media/File:Seiurus_aurocapilla_map.svg
ON PEI: Breeds on Prince Edward Island, common in spring and summer, uncommon in the fall.
CONSERVATION: Numbers appear stable, not currently at risk.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Northern Waterthrush, Hermit Thrush –   May be confused with a thrush because of size, appearance and foraging habits.
REFERENCES: https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ovenbird/id
https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/ovenbird
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovenbird
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/ovenbird (Missouri Department of Conservation)
American Bird Conservancy (Ovenbird)
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/ovenbird

Ovenbird - Afton Rd, PEI - May 18, 2018 - © Roberta Palmer
Ovenbird – Afton Rd, PEI – May 18, 2018 – Roberta Palmer
Ovenbird - Butterfly World, Florida - Dick Daniels
Ovenbird – Butterfly World, Florida – Feb. 4, 2011 – Dick Daniels
Ovenbird - Afton Road, PEI - May 21, 2018 - © Roberta Palmer
Ovenbird – Afton Road, PEI – May 21, 2018 – Roberta Palmer
Ovenbird nest with chicks - Lead Mountain, Maine - June 11, 2010 - FredlyFish4
Ovenbird nest with chicks – Lead Mountain, Maine – June 11, 2010 – Fredlyfish4

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