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Ovenbird

Seiurus aurocapilla ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: PARULIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Ovenbird's rapid-fire teacher-teacher-teacher song rings out in summer hardwood forests from the Mid-Atlantic states to northeastern British Columbia. It’s so loud that it may come as a surprise to find this inconspicuous warbler strutting like a tiny chicken across the dim forest floor. Its olive-brown back and spotted breast are excellent disguise as it gleans invertebrates from the leaf litter. Its nest, a leaf-covered dome resembling an old-fashioned outdoor oven, gives the Ovenbird its name.

Find This Bird

Male Ovenbirds spend much of the summer singing a very loud, ringing ‘tea-Cher, tea-Cher, tea-CHER, Tea-CHER, TEA-CHER’ that makes these birds pretty easy to locate (although it can take some patience to actually get them in view). Look for Ovenbirds in closed-canopy forests, the larger the better. As you carefully track down the source of the song, watch both in areas of open ground on the forest floor and on low branches up to as high as the lower canopy. When they’re foraging, Ovenbirds are usually on the ground and are not overly shy. With care, you can often watch them meandering about looking for food on the ground.

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Beyond the Empty Nest, Autumn 2011 Living Bird magazine.

Mercury Rising: Spring 2013 Living Bird magazine.

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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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