Friday, April 08, 2016

Friday's Foto

Like the related Pine Warbler, the Louisiana Waterthrush is one of the early arriving new world warblers to our area in spring. This songbird's subtle, understated color and pattern is fairly uncommon among the mostly brightly plumed species in this family. This is no doubt how it got the name "waterTHRUSH". They can be found walking along the edge of wet areas foraging for insects, bobbing their tail as they pick insects from the water's surface or from under leaves. Wintering in Central America and the West Indies, the Louisiana Waterthrush breeds in eastern North America from southernmost Canada and south through the eastern United States, excluding Florida and the coast. Departing as early as July, they are one of the earliest warblers to leave the breeding grounds, almost all will have left by late August.

Very similar in appearance to the Northern Waterthrush, David Sibley writes, "Most waterthrushes are readily identified simply by the whiteness of the underparts. If you encounter a confusing individual pay special attention to the width of the eyebrow stripe, and the pattern and extent of streaking on the breast and flanks. Many other features, such as bill size, can offer supporting clues for experienced birders." He has an excellent comparison page here.

The IUCN Red List lists their conservation status as "Least Concern".

Their scientific name, Parkesia motacilla, means: Parkesia refers to US ornithologist Dr. Kenneth Carroll Parkes (1922–2007). Motacilla - wagtail.

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