Waterthrush survey update

Louisiana Waterthrush - May 10, 2010

It was a chilly start to this morning’s fieldwork but it turned into a great day on all fronts. Birds were more abundant and diverse today with many firsts of the year including Black-throated Blue Warbler, Broad-winged Hawk (two separate adults carrying food!), Solitary Sandpipers and a whopping great tally of 14 Cerulean Warblers. Yellow-throated Vireos and American Redstarts were also quite numerous.

I was thrilled to find a Northern Waterthrush in the midst of nest building along a creek near Birch Lake but the real star of the show today was the discovery of an actively nesting pair of Louisiana Waterthrushes. The pair were located in a deeply incised ravine in mature forest. I hung around for a bit to observe them and suspect that a nest containing eggs is likely to be found above the steep bank of a waterfall at the site. I didn’t have time to look for the nest but will return to the site at a later date for a checkup. To my knowledge this is a newly documented breeding location for the species.

The media file below includes pictures and a short recording of the male LOWA taken at the site this morning. Something went wonky with the image quality during conversion at Vimeo but the sound is accurate. The Louisiana Waterthrush (Seiurus motacilla) has a distinctive song, much softer, sweeter and melodic than the louder and more guttural warble of its cousin – the Northern Waterthrush (Seiurus noveboracensis).


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