A small bird with a loud song, the ovenbird is a migratory songbird that passes through much of North America in the spring and fall. 

Physical Description

A small, somewhat chunky warbler, adult ovenbirds are noted for their olive-brown heads, necks, and backs, with a bold white ring around the eyes and a line of orange that runs down their heads flanked by a pair of black streaks. They have white underparts with black streaks on the chest, similar to the wood thrush, with a short tail and long pink legs. Males and females have similar color patterns.

Size

Adults are about 4.3-5.5 inches (11-14 centimeters) long, with a wingspan of 7.5-10.2 inches (19-26 centimeters).

Native Habitat

Their favorite breeding grounds are closed-canopy forests, ideally with lots of dead leaves on the forest floor.

Its breeding range stretches across Canada and the eastern and central United States. Its wintering range includes the Caribbean, Central and South America and parts of the southeastern U.S.

Communication

Ovenbirds have a loud, repeating song that builds in volume. This chur-tee call is used by males during the breeding season, although both males and females can make several other calls and chirping noises.

Food/Eating Habits

Ovenbirds eat mostly insects but will forage for seeds and occasionally fruit. When hunting on the forest floor, they use their long legs to walk around, bobbing around with big, jerky steps as they hunt for prey.

Social Structure

Males and females pair up during the breeding season.

Animal News

Aspen and Juniper: A Beaver Love Story

February 09, 2024

Public Can Help Name Cotton-Top Tamarins at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

February 05, 2024

White-Naped Crane Dies at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

January 31, 2024