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How to build an oven (bird)

First of all find a good spot to start building.

The Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus)
The Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus)

Then walk around the area and try to find a good supply of mud.

The Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus)
The Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus)

Next start by building the base of the oven.

 Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) building a nest
Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) building a nest

Keep adding mud to the walls which soon start to get higher!

 Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) applying mud to the side of the nest
Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) applying mud to the side of the nest

Keep working hard and build up the back of the nest.

 Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) building up the back of the nest
Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) building up the back of the nest

Try to get your partner involved in the project: Two beaks make light work!

Ovenbird7

Get your partner to bring some mud for you so you don’t have to stop work!

A pair of  Rufous Horneros (Furnarius rufus) building a nest together
A pair of Rufous Horneros (Furnarius rufus) building a nest together

Take a little time together to sit back and admire what you have build so far.

 A pair of Rufous Horneros (Furnarius rufus) building a nest
A pair of Rufous Horneros (Furnarius rufus) building a nest

Finally the nest is finished and the hard work of bring up the next generation begins!

 A Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) nest or oven
A Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus) nest or oven

The Rufous Hornero, or Red Ovenbird (Furnarius rufus) is a common bird of southern South America, to the east of the Andes, and is the national bird of Argentina.  It constructs a very characteristic, oven-shaped mud nest.  It is a very common  and confiding species and the nests can be seen on all manner of man-made structures (e.g. fence posts, telegraph posts, buildings and even traffic lights!).  The sexes are faithful and a pair build the nest together in the early summer; a small clutch of eggs is laid inside the nest where they are incubated for 2-3 weeks.  These photographs were taken in October 2012 in Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

rcannon992 View All

I am a retired entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.

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