Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla), Oak Creek Canyon, Coconino County
This Louisiana Waterthrush was found and photographed by Bruce Mactavish on 18 March 2016
A very sparse transient and winter resident in
southeastern Arizona, this is apparently the first
documented record of this species for Coconino County.
The throat of this bird is unmarked and clean white, and
the supercilium of this bird broadens behind the eye and
is bright white, both good for a Louisiana. An excellent
mark is the color of the flanks. In Northerns the
underparts can range from yellow to off-white, but in
any case the underparts are uniform. Louisianas often
have a distinct pink or buffy wash along the flank
contrasting with otherwise clean white underparts. The
streaking on the underparts is also browner and sparser, and legs
brighter pink. Also good to consider when confronted
with a waterthrush in Arizona are habitat and timing.
March is on time for a migrant Louisiana, whereas most
Northern Waterthrushes pass through in May. Generally
speaking, Louisiana Waterthrush prefers fast-moving
streams such as Oak Creek as seen in these photos,
whereas Northern is more of a generalist but is often
found around ponds.
19 March 2016, photo by Bruce MactavishAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Submitted on 05 April 2016