• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer

Northern Waterthrush


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A bird of northern forests, the Northern Waterthrush sings its loud, ringing song from wooded swamps and bogs. It can be seen on migration bobbing its tail near wet spots in parks or back yards.


Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small songbird.
  • Brown back.
  • Whitish or creamy underside with dark stripes.
  • Whitish or yellowish eyestripe.
  • Constantly bobs its tail.

Immature Description

Immature similar to adult.

Range Map Help

Northern Waterthrush Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Very similar to Louisiana Waterthrush. Louisiana usually has an unstriped throat, a slightly larger bill, a broader white eyestripe that extends back onto the nape, brighter pink legs, and more whitish underparts.
  • Ovenbird is more olive on back, is whiter underneath, has a white eyering, and orange and black crown stripes.
  • Thrushes are spotted, not streaked, on the chest.



    Or Browse Bird Guide by Family, Name or Shape
    bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

    The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell or give your email address to others.