Observational Highlight of the Week: Hylocichla & Seiurus

Observational Highlight #11: Seiurus aurocapilla (Ovenbird) & Hylocichla mustelina (Wood Thrush)
Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve

© Janis Stone, all rights reserved (Both images used with permission)

Hello again everyone!

This week's observational highlight will be a two-for-one(!) given the missed opportunity for a weekly highlight last week. This time around, our stars will be the Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) and Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) which were both beautifully captured by Preserve friend and volunteer @janisstone ! The quality of these observations just illustrates the wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities that are available at The Preserve. Although taken a few years back, I can say with confidence that the birds have not decided to stop visiting our community natural area preserve (I was able to spot a black-and-white warbler in the South Section parking area last year!). With the spring migration approaching I hope those planning to visit The Preserve will keep their eyes and ears open to the plethora of bird species that regular our trails. Additionally, audio recordings are a viable candidate for upload to iNaturalist!

But let's dig in shall we?

Both of our highlighted feather friends are migratory birds that will soon be arriving from Central America and the Caribbean. While superficially, there are many physical similarities between the two species, they each belong to different taxonomic families. The wood thrush is, well, a member of the thrush family Turdidea, which includes the Hermit Thrush, American Robin, and Eastern Bluebird. The Ovenbird, however, is a member of the New World Warbler family Parulidae, which includes the prothonotary warbler, Northern Waterthrush, and Hooded Warbler. Now being in different families in the bird world is a pretty big difference in relation, despite how similar both organisms look compared to each other.

Unless you find yourself within eyeshot of an individual foraging on the ground for insects, you're more likely to notice them first by their impressive songs. Both species have very distinct songs which can be easy to identify once you've had your own experience with them. The wood thrush's song consists of a loud, flute-clear ee-oh-lay, while the ovenbird's consist of a rapid-fire teacher-teacher-teacher. While the spring and summertime offers a great spectacle of birdsong it can also be overwhelming to those just starting to learn to identify birdsong (I'm still working on my song identification skills myself). Just remember that with many naturalist skills, practice makes perfect and everyone makes mistakes. There is also a wonderful array of bird song quizzes and resources available online for those interesting in diving into the birding hobby. My personal favorite tool to use for double-checking my field identification is BirdNet (it's also free to use!).

I hope this three-part series highlighting bird species on the preserve will inspire you to have an open ear during your next visit. Audio and photographic observations are always encouraged while exploring the trails. Next week with start our next highlight series - Amphibians!

ABOUT #BullRunMountainsNaturalPreserve
The Bull Run Mountains are the easternmost mountains in Virginia. Virginia Outdoors Foundation - Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve is approximately 2,350 acres that serve as a living laboratory that sits in the backyard of our nation’s capital. The preserve contains 10 different plant community types and a plethora of regionally uncommon and threatened plant and animal species. In 2002, this land was dedicated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a natural area preserve to protect the unique ecosystems found here. As the owner and manager of the preserve, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation is committed to protecting the special ecosystem found here and sharing it with the public through managed access.

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Publicado el marzo 3, 2021 01:14 MAÑANA por mjwcarr mjwcarr


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