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Seiurus aurocapilla


Ovenbirds are large wood warblers and are sometimes confused by the untrained for a thrush. They have olive-brown upperparts and white underparts heavily streaked with black; the flanks have an olive hue. A white ring surrounds the eyes, and a black stripe runs below the cheek. They have a line of orange feathers with olive-green tips running along the top of their head, bordered on each side with blackish-brown. The orange feathers can be erected to form a small crest. The eyes and the upper part of the thin pointed beak are dark, while the lower beak is horn-colored and the legs and feet are pinkish.


Breeds from west-central Canada east to Maritimes, and south to the northern Gulf Coast states and South Carolina. Spends winters from the Gulf Coast and Florida to South America. Preferred habitats include mature, dry forests with little undergrowth.


The Ovenbird gets its name from its covered nest. The dome and side entrance make it resemble a Dutch oven.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Liam 8 years ago
Seiurus aurocapilla BirdForum

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Now that you have identified the bird correctly, please take some time to read our FAQs and fill in the fields correctly. We do not want endless descriptions of what is in the text books or on other internet sites, that is what the reference fields are for. We want a brief description of your encounter with the organism and the actual habitat where you made the spotting so that we can plot changes of habitat where they occur. Your help in this would be appreciated by those users who are compiling reports.

Mona Pirih
Mona Pirih 8 years ago


albear1960 8 years ago

Well I was obviously taken in by the "pink" legs - who knew both Ovenbirds and Wood Thrushes have them :-) But specifically notes that legs are pink on the wood thrush.

Interesting, my North American field guide (2001 edition) shows juvenile has yellowish legs and adult has greyish legs. The text does not even mention leg colours. I have often been of the opinion that artists drawings over-accentuate the colours or get them wrong, nowadays I prefer photographic guides. Since I have not seen either of these in the flesh I can only go by my (apparently not very reliable!) book.

albear1960 8 years ago

Thank you Liam!

albear1960 8 years ago

Actually Malcolm Wilton-Jones, Wood Thrushes have pink legs:

Hema 8 years ago

oven bird in Missouri? migratory ,maybe?

Thrushes have grey legs, this bird has pink legs. See Liam's suggestion above.

SusanEllison 8 years ago

gorgeous bird!

albear1960 8 years ago

Thank you Ajweko!

Ajwerko 8 years ago

Nice photo! Very pretty bird.

albear1960 8 years ago

Thanks LandmarkExpert - It may be a sparrow, but the body shape, bill size and the little crest on the head makes me think otherwise. I cannot locate any sparrow that looks like this - but as you say, there are many. I will keep searching!

Caleb Steindel
Caleb Steindel 8 years ago

i thought i could id it but there are so many sparrows in North america that i couldn't! i found a bunch that look close, but i don't know. Here's a site shows 35 species of north american sparrows. you can look at them and decide which one you think it is.
hope it helps!

Spotted by

Highlandville, Missouri, USA

Spotted on May 1, 2013
Submitted on May 2, 2013

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