October 4, 2016

An ovenbird finds a comfortable perch after a long bath in St. Louis’ Tower Grove Park.

Although not very colorful, as warblers go, the ovenbird has always been one of my favorites, with its powerful song, “teacher, teacher, teacher,” and its bold pattern of spots and stripes about its underparts. The ovenbird is also fascinating because of its unique nest, which consists of a leaf-covered dome with a side entrance reminiscent of an oven door.

I see ovenbirds most frequently during my spring trips to Greer Spring, along the wooded trail to the spring. As a wildlife photographer, I’m often frustrated to see that most of my ovenbird images have not captured a catch light, or specular highlight, in the large, black eye of the species. In my opinion, the catch light is necessary to a successful image of any wild animal so many of my ovenbird images end up in the delete bin. Certain birds, including the ovenbird and barred owl, are just problematic when it comes to catch lights. Inevitably, when this topic arises, I’m asked why I don’t just photoshop glints into the eyes of ovenbirds, barred owls and other animals that are photogenically ornery. My response is always the same:  To each his own, but that just isn’t my thing.

The featured image was captured yesterday at Tower Grove Park. This little ovenbird was so into its bath that it left me plenty of time to collapse my tripod to the ground and make a nice image when it hopped up on a smooth rock to dry. The light was very limited, but as you can see there was just enough to produce the elusive glint I desired.

Thanks for looking,


Email:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Images/Print Information:  www.dannybrownphotography.com 


12 comments on “Ovenbird”

  1. Perfect! Having tried to capture this bird at Tower Grove Park, I know just how challenging a task it is.

  2. Danny, I really like the ovenbird photo with its bold spots and stripes. I can’t remember ever crossing paths with one. Maybe I’ll get lucky somewhere down the road. Just finished another photo book from our November 2015 river trip on the Rhine, Main, and Danuabe rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest. It seems like I spend 95% of my photography time anymore on photo books and videos from our trips. I need to get back capturing more Missouri nature images. Keep the excellent images flowing. Phil

  3. Thank you for your great work! 

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®4

  4. Perfect!

  5. Darling, Danny. It’s one of my favorites, too. Thanks for explaining about the glint. I wonder if many people realize they will get better resolution if they click on the iphone images. Mary P


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