Birds of the World – Furnariidae – Ovenbird Family

White-eyed Foliage-gleaner (Automolus leucophthalmus) by Dario Sanches

White-eyed Foliage-gleaner (Automolus leucophthalmus) by Dario Sanches

And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:10 KJV)

Yesterday you were introduced to the Firewood-gatherer from the Ovenbird – Furnariidae Family. Let’s look at some more things about this family. There are presently (IOC 3.3) 307 species assigned together, but it is such a diverse group. There are over 70 Genera listed. Number one, the Ovenbird, is not even a member of this family. You have to look for it in the Parulidae – New World Warblers to find it.

The Ovenbird name seems to be from the fact that many of these birds make an “oven style” nest or at least one that has an opening to enter or a covering, not the “cup type” of nest of many birds. Most are  insectivores that are mostly arboreal in nature. Insects form the majority of the diet, with some spiders, centipides, millipides and even lizards being taken as well.

They are sub-divided into subfamilies which help find them. It is the names of these birds that have caught my attention this time. Listen to these names:

Tawny-throated Leaftosser (Sclerurus mexicanus) by Michael Woodruff

Tawny-throated Leaftosser (Sclerurus mexicanus) by Michael Woodruff

Subfamily: Sclerurinae ~~ Miners and Leaftossers

Wedge-billed Woodcreeper (Glyphorynchus spirurus) by Michael Woodruff

Wedge-billed Woodcreeper (Glyphorynchus spirurus) by Michael Woodruff

Subfamily: Dendrocolaptinae ~~ Woodcreepers

  • Tribe: Sittasomini – “intermediate” woodcreepers
  • Tribe: Dendrocolaptini – “strong-billed” woodcreepers and scythebills
Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) ©WikiC

Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) ©WikiC

Subfamily: Furnariinae ~~ Neotropical ovenbirds and allies

  • Xenops and Palmcreeper
  • Tribe Pygarrhichini – Treerunner, Xenops, Earthcreeper
  • Tribe Furnariini – Horneros and allies (Tuftedcheeks, Barbtail, Earthcreeper, Cinclodes, Streamcreeper, Rushbird, Reedhaunter)
  • Tribe Philydorini – Foliage-gleaners and allies (Xenops, Treehunter, Canebrake, Woodhaunter)
  • Tribe Synallaxini – Spinetails and allies (Treerunners, Barbtails, Rayaditos, Wiretail, Canasteros, Reedhaunter,Softtails, Thorntails, Firewood-gatherer, Brushrunner, Prickletail, Plushcrown, Graytails, Graveteiro)

Just reading the names you can almost image what they do. Many of them are “creepers,” “runners,” “gleaners,” “haunters,” and then others have their tail described. The tails are Barb, Spine, Wire, Soft, Thorn, Prickle and Gray. The Runners are apparently running up Trees or in the Stream. Not sure what the Miners are digging for, but maybe they are trying to find insects in the ground, whereas the Leaf-tossers are probably looking under leaves for their lunch. They don’t appear to be a “lazy” bird family.

This is a family that I could see being named by what they were doing or how their tail looked. After the birds were created, the Lord brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. What ever he decided to call them, that was their name. Maybe this is how Adam named them by observing their behaviors. Others from another family may have had a different way he named them.

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. (Genesis 2:19-20 NKJV)

Some interesting articles about this family:

Birds of Brazil – Woodpeckers, Woodcreepers and Foliage-gleaners by Mark George

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Wordless Birds

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