One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small, drab tropical American bird belonging to a diverse family, many members of which make domed nests of mud.
Family Furnariidae (the ovenbird family): many genera and numerous species. The ovenbird family comprises the horneros, miners, spinetails, and many others
- ‘On a spring morning several years ago, I saw a tiny ovenbird that was walking north on Park Avenue, probably exhausted by its migratory flight from South America.’
- ‘Suboscines, which include flycatchers, ant-birds, woodcreepers, and ovenbirds, are now diverse in the New World, with about 1,100 species, nearly all of them in South America.’
- ‘Nonetheless, the West Indian thrashers and tremblers are so distinctive that early workers grouped them variously with the ant thrushes, ovenbirds, wrens, and thrushes.’
- ‘Their closest relatives are the ovenbirds (family Furnariidae).’
- ‘As we stroll on, we hear ovenbirds, see a towhee in the brush, and, down at Lake Perez, see a wood duck, tree swallows, a pair of spotted sandpipers, an osprey, and quite possibly the fattest robin I've ever seen.’
- ‘Suboscines are particularly well represented, with vocalizations of more than 350 (!) species of ovenbirds, antbirds, tyrant flycatchers, and the like.’
- ‘Playing the louder calls on the ground increased visits by predators there, he found, but playing the relatively soft begging calls of ovenbirds from tree nests did not.’
- ‘In 1996 ornithologists announced the discovery of a new species of Neotropical ovenbird, the pink-legged graveteiro, within the rustic cacao farms of the state of Bahia, Brazil.’
2A migratory brown North American warbler that builds a domed nest of vegetation on the ground.
Seiurus aurocapillus, family Parulidae
- ‘Research in Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia shows that forest birds like the American redstart, hooded warbler, Kentucky warbler, worm-eating warbler, ovenbird, wood thrush, and veery are all vulnerable to deer overpopulation.’
- ‘Some species of ovenbirds are migratory, others are sedentary.’
Early 19th century: from oven and bird (with allusion to the domed or arched shape of many traditional forms of bread oven).
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