Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday Sightings- The Ovenbird

Happy Saturday Everyone!  Another bird for another post!

Another New World warbler and small songbird is the ovenbird, sometimes confused for a thrush.  This species breeds in mature deciduous and mixed forests, with little undergrowth and winters in Central America, many Caribbean Islands, Florida and northern Venezuela.  This bird is territorial all year round and does travel in groups when migrating, however will disperse upon reaching their destination.  The ovenbird can frequently be seen with its tail tilted up and bobbing its head while walking and when alarmed, the tail is flicked often from a half-raised position. 

Though requiring little undergrowth for mating, the ovenbird desires abundant undergrowth for foraging for food, which it does on the ground in dead leaves.  They will also catch insects in flight.  Their nest is referred to as an “oven” (giving the bird its name) and is a domed structure placed on the ground, woven from vegetation, with a side entrance.  The fact of the nest being placed on the ground makes it more of a target for chipmunks than for tree-nesting birds.  Chipmunks have been known to burrow directly into the nest to eat the young.  The ovenbird is also vulnerable to nest parasitism by the brown-headed cowbird.
Have a great week ahead!

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