Bird #7 — Ovenbird

seiurus (from seio, to shake and oura, tail) aurocapillus (from aurum, gold and capillus crown)

Saturday, May 26, 1979 — 3:15 p.m.

McNaughton, Wisconsin

My girlfriend and I were walking through the woods on the path around a lake when I heard an Ovenbird singing. I knew its “teacher, teacher, teacher” song from trips I took as a kid with my Dad. I traced the sound and spotted the bird perched on a lower branch of a poplar in mixed woods about 50 yards uphill from the lake.

To be honest, early in my birding life there were some birds that made my life list under circumstances that would not be satisfactory as I gained more experience. This is a prime example. I still didn’t have binoculars, and all I saw was a tiny bird perched on a branch singing an Ovenbird’s song. Of course, it was an Ovenbird, but I didn’t see all the field marks like I was supposed to. So … just to make things legit …

On Thursday, May 15, 1980, I saw an Ovenbird in my backyard at home. It was walking around under the bushes next to the shed. It stayed around, off and on, for two days always on the ground and I saw all the field marks many times.

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