The ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) is a small species of warbler that gets its name from the unique nest it builds which resembles a Dutch oven. It is a migratory bird that can be found throughout most parts of eastern and central North America at various times of year, leaving for the southern portions of the continent each winter.
Ovenbirds are about 5 inches long and weigh less than an ounce. They are olive brown in color with a spotted white and black underside and white rings around their eyes. Although not easy to spot, the ovenbird can be heard singing (sometimes in groups) for up to 40 songs in a row.
The ovenbird is a woodland-dweller and spends most of its time on the forest floor foraging for small insects and fruit. They are also capable of hovering in the air to catch flying insects. The ovenbird is quite territorial but seems to have developed an ancient system to divide up to the forest with other warblers. Ovenbirds will almost always stick to upland or moderately sloped areas for breeding, leaving the steep slopes and lowlands for other species of warblers.
Ovenbirds build their nests on the ground out of woven dead leaves and plant stems. The nest is a dome with a side entrance. Both parents are responsible for feeding their young in the spring and must always be wary of chipmunks predating their chicks, as the ground placement of their nests makes for an easy target. The oldest known ovenbird lived to be seven years old.
Though they normally do not leave North America, migrating ovenbirds have been found as far away as Norway and Great Britain.
The ovenbird is a frequent victim of nest parasitism by the brown-headed cowbird, a bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other species.
The Cornell Lab of Orinthology
South Dakota Birds and Birding