Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oven Bird Nest

Over the weekend, I participated in the Ohio Heritage Naturalist hike at Cave Lake in Pike County near Latham, Ohio. While there, Marjie Becus found an Oven Bird nest.

Oven Bird photo from Wikipedia.

Oven Birds, Seiurus aurocapillus, are small migratory songbirds in the warbler family. They are colored olive-brown with a white breast streaked with dark brown markings. The crown of its head is adorned with an orange streak that is bordered with dark brown. This latin name aurocapillus alludes to the orange crown and means "golden hair".

The Oven Bird is a warbler that nests on the ground. The common name of the bird comes from its unique nest that resembles a old-fashioned brick oven.The bird constructs the nest with leaves and grasses and makes a roof to protect the eggs and conceal it from predators. The female bird will quietly sit on the nest, motionless. Marjie almost stepped on the nest before the female flushed. The male is quite the opposite. His persistent calls of "TEA-cher, TEA-cher, TEA-cher will loudly ring throughout the forest.

Here is a closer view of the speckled eggs inside the nest. The Oven Bird will lay 3-6 cream colored eggs speckled with brown spots. This was the first Oven Bird nest I had encountered, so I was quite fascinated with its artful construction and perfect camouflage. Amazing!


A.L. Gibson said...

Awesome post! I just came across my first Ovenbird nest last weekend in Wayne National Forest. She flushed from her nest when I almost stepped on it. There was only one egg in the nest but SO cool seeing just how expertly camouflaged they are! Fascinating experience!

Janet Creamer said...

Thanks, Andrew. Glad you enjoyed it. It is something else seeing how well hidden the nests are. Missed you at the sedge workshop.

Weedpicker Cheryl said...

Great post Janet! It was a nice peek at a cryptic nest, which I have never seen in person. Good show-


Janet Creamer said...

Thanks, Cheryl. Great seeing you this weekend.