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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Ovenbird -- Seiurus aurocapillus

RANGE: Breeds from northeastern British Columbia, southern Mackenzie, northern Alberta, across southern Canada to Newfoundland south to eastern Colorado, eastern Oklahoma, northern Arkansas, and the mid-Atlantic States to northern Georgia. Winters in coastal South Carolina, Florida, the Gulf States, coastal Texas, the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Usually inhabits open, mature, dry, deciduous forests without thick brush and tangles, preferring areas with an abundance of fallen leaves, logs, and rocks. Occasionally inhabits wet or swampy forests; in the North, inhabits jack pine and spruce forests.

NEST: Locates nest in a slight depression in the ground. Uses almost any available vegetation to construct an arched nest resembling a dutch oven, with the entrance hole at or near ground level.

FOOD: Gleans invertebrate food from the surface of the litter on the forest floor, including insects, small snails, slugs, myriapods, earthworms, and spiders.

REFERENCES: DeGraff et al. 1980, Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Hann 1937, Stenger 1958, Vickery in Farrand 1983c.

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