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Friday, September 2, 2011

#16: Ovenbird - Mason Farm, NC

In the Triangle area, if you walk through the woods at any point during the summer, you’re liable to hear a little bird with a big voice. It could be deep in the forest, yet its call will carry through the trees: teecherteecherteecherteecherTEECHER! If it happens to be right next to you, as is occasionally the case, its song will literally drown out every other sound in the vicinity. I’m talking, of course, about the Ovenbird.

There are two places I’ve been able to find multiple Ovenbirds every time I’m down there. The first is Stagecoach Road, an old railroad grade through the woods around Jordan Lake – during migration, I’ve found over twenty-five in one day, I was literally tripping over them along the path! The other locale is Mason Farm, where we found this little guy on a sweltering June day (to be fair, in June they're all sweltering).

Ovenbird - Mason Farm, NC; 06/14/2010

Actually, I’d heard two or three singing in this one spot where the trail first hits a woodland. A little playback, and all of a sudden five Ovenbirds converged on our location, more than I’ve ever seen at one time. Like Ovenbirds do, they never ventured out of the shadow of the forest, but it’s still one of the best looks I’ve had of these fun little ground-dwelling warblers. Except for that time I had one feeding literally at my feet while I was hiding under a tree from a rainstorm, but that’s a story from another time.

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