Living Bird Magazine
Louisiana WaterthrushParkesia motacilla
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Parulidae
A bird of forest streams, the Louisiana Waterthrush looks more like a thrush or sparrow than the warbler it is. It can be recognized by its loud ringing call and constant bobbing of its tail.More ID Info
- Reinita Charquera de Luisiana (Spanish)
- Paruline hochequeue (French)
- Cool Facts
- The Louisiana and Northern Waterthrushes are very similar species whose breeding ranges overlap slightly. Their songs and their habitats, while similar, differ significantly. The pitch of the beginning notes of the Louisiana's song usually descend, just as does the hilly stream that is its preferred habitat. The Northern Waterthrush prefers bogs and waters that are flat, just as its beginning notes stay on the same pitch.
- The Louisiana Waterthrush occasionally takes naps during the middle of the day. Unlike when it sleeps at night, a napping waterthrush does not tuck its bill behind a wing. Instead, it pulls its neck into its body, squats down and covers its legs with its body feathers, and shuts its eyes.
- Unlike many warblers, the male Louisiana Waterthrush does not sing on its wintering grounds before it leaves. It sings immediately when it arrives on its breeding territory. Whether it begins singing during migration is not known. When establishing his territory, a male sings vigorously nearly all day. After he acquires a mate, singing decreases quickly and he concentrates his singing into the morning hours.
- The oldest recorded Louisiana Waterthrush was a male, and at least 11 years, 11 months old, when he was seen in New Jersey in the wild and identified by his band. He had been banded in the same state.