Empty Ovenbird Nest

On 6/11, I visited the ovenbird nest site and found 3 nestlings with pin feathers, huddled together. Three days later all three were gone. So, I took a photo of their empty nest. I checked the critter cam videos to see if they had been discovered by one of the many potential predators in our woods. I watched as a red fox trotted by, grey squirrel run up the nearby tree, and, most troublesome, three feral cats walking past the nest just one foot away. The nest and these babes were not discovered. Amazing!

It has been 9 days since I found the nest – empty. I hope the Ovenbird family is still thriving.

Ovenbird Nestlings!!!!

I decided to check the Ovenbird nest on this very warm day (80 degree F.) of June 11, hoping that the parent was off the nest. And she was! I presume both parents were out foraging for lots of insects to feed these hungry babes.

This was a great day indeed! Now, I am eagerly and nervously waiting for the next phase – fledgling day!

Oven Bird Eggs

I took advantage of the mom away from her nest and took this photo of the three Ovenbird eggs.

Ovenbird Standing By Nest

I first came to the area around 2PM on 6/6 and took photos of the Ovenbird in the nest. (Submitted a photo.) I returned about 2-3 minutes later. Now the Ovenbird was standing beside her nest. She remained still. I left after taking a few photos. It was a thrill and relief to see her still monitoring her nest. This morning I saw a large disturbed area of leaves about 30 feet from the nest. I believe a wild turkey was scratching around for something to eat. My husband and I have seen a large turkey in our woods and in this area on our critter cams. I’m sure that bird eggs and nestlings are on its menu.

I’m a nervous Nestwatcher. The odds of success seem stacked against this Ovenbird, given the number of predators that roam about in our woods.

Ovenbird barely in nest.

When I came to the nest area to stand at a safe viewing location, the Ovenbird was in the nest but on the edge with her breast partly showing. She did not move.

Ovenbird in Nest

I was walking my dog in our mixed woodlands when a small bird suddenly ran away, as if injured. I lost track of the bird. The next day, the same situation occurred. This time I looked around the area and found the Ovenbird’s ground nest, filled with three eggs. This was a most exciting find as I never dreamed I would ever find this specie’s nest. I went back later and took a photo of the female looking at me. Of course, I made sure I left the area a soon as possible. Now, I await the hatching day. And all the while, I will be very nervous because many predators roam our woods, including feral cats.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology