Northern waterthrush

Northern waterthrush
Parkesia noveboracensis

Photo by Simon Barrette (Wikipedia)

Common name:
northern waterthrush (en); mariquita-boreal (pt); paruline des ruisseaux (fr); reinita charquera norteña (es); uferwaldsänger (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Parulidae

This species breeds in northern North America, from Alaska and the Northwet territories to Newfoundland, and south to Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Virginia. They migrate south to winter from Mexico and southern Florida, across Central America and the Caribbean and into the Guyanas, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and extreme northern Peru.

These birds are 12-15 cm long and have a wingspan of 21-24 cm. They weigh 13-25 g.

The northern waterthrush is mostly found breeding in wooded or scrubby bogs and marshes, also using the vegetation along northern lakes and rivers as well as temperate scrublands and forests. Outside the breeding season they use moist tropical forests and scrublands, mangroves, marshes, rivers and plantations.

They may forage on the ground, among the foliage or in water, taking adult and larval insects, spiders, snails, crustaceans and small freshwater fishes.

Northern waterthrushes are monogamous and breed in May-August. They nest in a cup made of grasses, leaves, moss, pine needles and bark, which is lined with hair and usually placed on the ground among the roots of a tree, under upturned trees, along a bank, in a fern clump, or in a moss-covered stump, frequently under cover. The female lays 3-6 white eggs with brown and grey spots, which she incubates alone for 12-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 9-10 days after hatching, but only become fully independent some 3 weeks later.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 13 million individuals. The population has had a stable trend over the last 4 decades. Potential threats to the northern waterthrush include habitat loss and degradation through drainage of marshes and swamps for agriculture, as well as the direct and indirect effects of pesticides.

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