Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Any bird that walks through the forest yelling, “teacher, teacher, teacher” is OK by me. Perhaps Robert Frost described the Ovenbird better, a “Loud, mid-smmer and mid-wood bird, Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.”

Over the past several years, I have entered most of my bird sightings into eBird—at least those with locations and dates. My first Ovenbird record was made on 22 September 1962, followed by 510 additional eBird entries. Ovenbirds, however, were among the first birds I ever saw. In a bird diary, although without precise dates, I note Ovenbirds from the spring and fall of 1961. Finally, I am also fond of Ovenbirds because this species was the first I caught under my banding permit—and almost my last. On 14 October 1967 I set a net south of Alexandria, Virginia—little knowing I was a few feet from an unobservant drug dealer’s rendezvous. I banded my Ovenbird, gathered up my leaf-clogged net, and never returned.

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