The surprising reason behind the ovenbird's name

July 10, 2014, 1 p.m.

How the ovenbird got its name

This little bird is common in the eastern portion of the United States, making itself known by its notably loud song that sounds like tea-cher tea-cher tea-cher. While anyone walking through the woods in the east has likely heard the distinctive call, fewer people may know why the ovenbird is called such. It's not because ovenbirds make a great baked or roasted meal (which they don't) or because they're one of the few birds that sing in the heat of the afternoon (which they do). The ovenbird gets its name because of the shape of its nest. Its nest is made on the ground in clearings or at the edges of forests, and it is in the shape of a dome with a small side entrance, making it look like -- wait for it! -- an old-fashioned outdoor oven. So if you ever spot this small bird strutting around on the forest floor looking for invertebrates to eat for lunch, remember to look around carefully see if you can spot its camouflaged architectural masterpiece and namesake somewhere on the ground.

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Jaymi Heimbuch is a writer and photographer at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Google+, and Facebook.
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