Wednesday, September 5, 2012
I don't know why, but I'm thrown for a loop every time I see an Ovenbird. I always expect them to be smaller than they are. So I see this large, striped-breast bird in the undergrowth and inevitably I'm reaching for my book to look up thrushes with a head stripe (because what thrush has a head stripe???) when I realize it's an Ovenbird. Every time. My "Ovenbird" synapses must have a fatal error in them.
This one showed up in our backyard the other day. Everything is so dry here, our multiple birdbaths are a huge attraction right now.
Here's a good look at its unique head striping from the back:
The Ovenbird gets its name from its unique nest construction: with its curved top and open side it looks like a Dutch oven. Bill Leaman has a neat photo on his site.
Many people assume Ovenbirds are in the same family as thrushes (told you they look like thrushes!), but they're actually warblers. The Louisiana Waterthrush and the Northern Waterthrush (contrary to their names) are also warblers.
This Ovenbird is starting its journey to its wintering grounds in Florida, the Caribbean or Central America.