One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small 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,and many others
- ‘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.’
- ‘Suboscines are particularly well represented, with vocalizations of more than 350 (!) species of ovenbirds, antbirds, tyrant flycatchers, and the like.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Nonetheless, the West Indian thrashers and tremblers are so distinctive that early workers grouped them variously with the ant thrushes, ovenbirds, wrens, and thrushes.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Their closest relatives are the ovenbirds (family Furnariidae).’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
2A migratory brown North American warbler that builds a domed nest of vegetation on the ground.
Seiurus aurocapillus, subfamily Parulinae, family Emberizidae
- ‘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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