Ovenbird | American birds

   ›      ›   Ovenbird - Seiurus aurocapilla

The ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) belongs to the family Parulidae comprising New World warblers.

The ovenbird is distributed in North America, north of South America and the Caribbean region. The ovenbirds have characteristic head-bobbing and tail-flicking gait. The ovenbird species are migratory. These ovenbirds are polytypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Ovenbird Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) is a medium-sized warbler, measuring 15 cm in length and weighing 15 to 25 grams. The wingspan is 20 to 25 cm.

The ovenbird has olive brown upperparts. The underparts are white with bold black streaking. The wings, flanks, rump and uppertail are olive. There are two dark stripes on the crown and an orange patch in between them.

The orange feathers can be erected as a small crest. In immature birds, the orange stripe on the crown is completely covered by olive-green feathers. These ovenbirds have characteristic head-bobbing and tail-flicking gait.

The bill is thin and pointed. The upper beak is grayish pink and the lower beak is pale pink. The irises are dark brown. There is a white eye-ring. The legs and feet are pink. The ovenbird call is a loud "chik.. chick.. cheek.. cheeek" sound.
Bird World - Image of Ovenbird - Seiurus aurocapilla
1.Bird World - Ovenbird - Seiurus aurocapilla
Image by Kenneth Cole Schneider

Bird World - Image of Ovenbird - Seiurus aurocapilla
2.Bird World - Ovenbird - Seiurus aurocapilla
Image by DickDaniels (http://carolinabirds.org/)

Bird World - Image of Ovenbird - Seiurus aurocapilla
3.Bird World - Ovenbird - Seiurus aurocapilla
Image by Kenneth Cole Schneider

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The ovenbird is distributed in USA, Canada, St Pierre and Miquelon Islands (France), Caribbean region, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and extreme north of Colombia and Venezuela.

Vagrant birds are found in Greenland (Denmark), Ireland, St Martin (France), United Kingdom and Ecuador.

Ecosystem and habitat

The ovenbird species have moderate forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes between 0 to 1400 meters.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these species include tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, boreal forests, lower montane forests, deciduous and mixed forests and temperate forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these ovenbird species consists mainly of invertebrates. Insects, spiders, snails and earthworms are their primary food. These species forage on the ground in leaf litter.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these ovenbird species is from May to July in most of their breeding range. Polyandrous behavior has been recorded in these species.

These birds construct on the ground a dome shaped nest ("oven") with a side entrance. They use the plant material for weaving the nest. The eggs are mostly incubated by the female and both parents raise the young.

Migration and movement patterns

These ovenbird species are fully migratory birds. The breeding populations occur in northern USA, Canada and St Pierre and Miquelon Islands (France).

These species migrate southwards during late July and August to the wintering grounds and return to the breeding grounds in early summer. Passage birds are found in central and southeastern USA.

The ovenbirds winter in Caribbean region, USA (Florida), México, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and extreme north of Colombia and Venezuela.

Ovenbird - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Seiurus aurocapilla
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1766)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Motacilla aurocapilla Linnaeus, 1766
  • Family: Parulidae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • , Vernacular names: English: Ovenbird, Chinese: 橙顶灶莺, French: Paruline couronnée German: Pieperwaldsänger Spanish: Reinita hornera, Russian: Золотоголовый дроздовый певун, Japanese: カマドムシクイ
  • Other names: Ovenbird, Golden-crowned Thrush, Golden-crowned Wagtail
  • Distribution: North America, South America, Caribbean
  • Diet and feeding habits: invertebrates, insects, spiders, worms, molluscs
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be stable.

In most of its range, this species is reported to be common to uncommon. The generation length is 4.9 years. Its distribution size is about 9,730,000 sq.km.

Habitat alteration, deforestation, predation of hatchlings, human disturbance and trapping of adults and juveniles for pet-trade are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these ovenbird species.

IUCN and CITES status

The ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the ovenbird species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Seiurus aurocapilla
Species:S. aurocapilla
Binomial name:Seiurus aurocapilla
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The three recognized subspecies of the ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) are:
S. a. aurocapilla (Linnaeus, 1766),
S. a. furvior Batchelder, 1918 and
S. a. aurocapilla (Linnaeus, 1766).
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1.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosyfinch/6283677314/in/photostream/ (cropped)
Author: Kenneth Cole Schneider | License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 as on 10/15/18
2.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ovenbird_RWD2011b.jpg (cropped)
Author: DickDaniels (http://carolinabirds.org/) | License: CC BY-SA 3.0 as on 10/15/18
3.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosyfinch/6235303126/ (cropped)
Author: Kenneth Cole Schneider | License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 as on 10/15/18
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