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Did I Misidentify an Ovenbird? Lower Hudson Valley, NY (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
United States
I posted this image to the Gallery and said it was a hermit thrush. Now I'm wondering if it might be an ovenbird. I took the photo in early May in a wooded area in Croton, NY. There is no sign of a black stripe on the head, but it's possible that that's just because of the angle of the photo. I've gone ahead and added a 2nd, much blurrier photo, just in case it's helpful in nailing down a correct ID. Thanks for your opinions.


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'tis an Ovenbird. The orange and black on the crown can be hard to discern, and the angle from below doesn't help. Hermit Thrush would have a less-pronounced eye-ring and throat streak and would be warmer-toned.


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Yup, ovenbird. Besides the more visible eye ring, there's a stripiness to the way the breast spots overlap (including the really clean line along the edge of the throat, with a fairly clean-edged white area above it), extra pale bill, and horizontal posture.

I wouldn't say Hermit's are "warmer-toned" than ovenbirds. From the back, Hermit's shade of brown is closer to a neutral grey (except the rufous tail and wingtips), ovenbird more ochre (ie., containing a yellowish cast) by comparison. Of course, that doesn't really help from below, nor in leaf-tinted photos like yours.
Yup, an Ovenbird.

I still remember how happy I was when I found out what I saw as it was a lifer for me :)
Yesterday I went back to the same place where I took the ovenbird photos. As luck would have it, I got some nice shots of a wood thrush. Side by side, you can clearly see some differences between the ovenbird and the wood thrush.


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Another subtle difference with Ovenbird that becomes more obvious when you look for it, is that their eyes are proportionately huge compared to the size of their head
good to see photos of these two - I hear ovenbirds & wood thrush constantly, yet it's very rare to get my binos on them

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