Louisiana Waterthrush Facts You'll Never Believe

Louisiana waterthrush facts are very interesting to read.

Louisiana waterthrushes can be extremely interesting creatures to learn about as they are birds of song. This means that these birds communicate through singing. However, a Louisiana waterthrush song is different from that of a northern waterthrush and also of a yellow-throated warbler. This gives a Louisiana waterthrush bird a unique song. These songbirds prefer to have their range near flowing streams and other moving water bodies as this allows them to catch their food from the water. They live near water bodies because a lot of insects, crustaceans, larvae, amphibians, and fish can be found in these waters. Fish is the primary food source for these birds, and so they build nests near streams, rivers, and brooks.

Keep reading to learn more about the Louisiana waterthrush and its habitat. For more similar content, check out our articles on golden masked owl and kea parrot.

Louisiana Waterthrush

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Crustaceans, insects, larvae, millipedes, and scorpions

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.7 oz (20.6 g)

How long are they?

5.5–6.7 in (14–17 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Olive-brown, white, and pinkish

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Forests and near flowing water


North America, South America, the West Indies and the Caribbean





Scientific Name

Parkesia motacilla





Louisiana Waterthrush Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Louisiana waterthrush?

The Louisiana waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) is a type of a bird.

What class of animal does a Louisiana waterthrush belong to?

Louisiana waterthrushes belong to the class of Aves.

How many Louisiana waterthrushes are there in the world?

Study shows that around 450,000 pairs of breeding Louisiana waterthrushes, from the order Passeriformes family Parulidae, roam around the surface of the earth at present. It is believed that their numbers have increased by 34% since 1970. The population of these birds from North America is known to be increasing steadily.

Where does a Louisiana waterthrush live?

Louisiana waterthrushes, belonging to the Parulidae family, order Passeriformes, are known to reside in forests. They can be found in southern Ontario, Minnesota, Texas, central New England, Georgia and of course Louisiana as the name suggests. These birds from North America are a migratory species in the family of waterthrushes. During Louisiana waterthrush migration events, these birds travel to central and north America, the Caribbean, the West Indies, and even Mexico during winter in search of a warmer habitat.

What is a Louisiana waterthrush's habitat?

Louisiana waterthrushes are primarily North American birds whose range includes moving water bodies like flowing streams, rivers, and brooks. Apart from forested streams and flowing streams, they like to reside in woody creeks where limestone adorns the edges of forested streams. In spite of their tendency to dwell near the flowing water's edge, another habitat of this species is swamps in South America, especially during migration. These North American birds live in old, thick forests. They generally do not reside in places of high altitude.

Who do Louisiana waterthrushes live with?

A Louisiana waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla) is a solitary bird who lives in the wild. It is only during the breeding season that they pair up with another bird.

How long does a Louisiana waterthrush live?

The average lifespan of Louisiana waterthrushes is eight years.

How do they reproduce?

It is at the age of one year that maturity occurs in a Louisiana waterthrush. Louisiana waterthrushes are monogamous when it comes to breeding. The breeding season begins during the months of April and May. This is when males arrive and display a loud singing to attract females. This singing continues until breeding, then stops after breeding, and resumes after the eggs have hatched. Females lay a clutch of two to six eggs annually in a Louisiana waterthrush nest. Louisiana waterthrush eggs are elongated in shape and have a glossy appearance. The eggs also flaunt a whitish cream color. There is an incubation period of 12 to 14 days following which the young birds hatch. A juvenile Louisiana waterthrush learns to fly at around the age of ten days. Their breeding season ends in June.  

What is their conservation status?

The population of Louisiana waterthrushes is increasing steadily. This species is quite common to spot in the continent of North America, especially in the United States. As a result of the steady numbers of this species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has marked them as a Least Concern species. It means that there is no threat to the population of this species at the moment.

Louisiana Waterthrush Fun Facts

What do Louisiana waterthrushes look like?

The body of these birds is elongated, and so are the legs. Although the bird looks like a thrush, it is a warbler in reality which gives it a unique look. The body of this bird is olive brown in color. There is a white stripe that runs through the brown feathers like an eyebrow called the supercilium which is more prominent at the rear end. Their legs are often pinkish in color. Their bellies are rounded and the under belly is usually white in color, streaked lightly with brown.

A Louisiana waterthrush habitat and range is very limited.

How cute are they?

This species of the waterthrush can be quite cute to look at. They are a petite species which means that their small size adds to their adorable factor. Their rounded bellies makes them even cuter.

How do they communicate?

This species communicates primarily through the use of sound. A Louisiana waterthrush call note involves chirps and specific calls to communicate with other species in this family. A Louisiana waterthrush vs northern waterthrush sound different because a northern waterthrush call is deeper.  Louisiana waterthrushes have a few whistles which are loud, clear, or slurred, and shrill, with an almost metallic sound. These whistles are usually followed by quieter chirps. This is very different from the song of a yellow-throated warbler. Although they are quite similar sounding, when they are listened to more closely, it can be heard that a yellow-throated warbler places less emphasis on its call notes. Also, there are less phrases in the first section of the song of this species. Male Louisiana waterthrushes tend to remain quieter than usual during nesting season and also during migration.

How big is a Louisiana waterthrush?

A typical Louisiana waterthrush size range is 5.5–6.7 in (14–17 cm) in length. They can be almost double the size of a full grown hummingbird.

How fast can a Louisiana waterthrush fly?

Although the exact speed of flight of these birds is not known, they are known to be fast fliers and can cover a vast range of distances.

How much does a Louisiana waterthrush weigh?

Louisiana waterthrushes weigh around 0.7 oz (20.6 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Males and females of this species have no specific names assigned to them. They are collectively called Louisiana waterthrushes.

What would you call a baby Louisiana waterthrush?

Baby Louisiana waterthrushes are called chicks.

What do they eat?

The main source of their diet is insects and larvae of fish which can be found in the water. Crustaceans (like shrimps and prawns), small amphibians (like snakes and lizards), molluscs, and small fish also form part of their prey. They even prey on insects and invertebrates on land. These include chilopods, earthworms and caterpillars. Other types of prey are flying insects such as butterflies, stoneflies, and dragonflies.

Are they aggressive?

Louisiana waterthrushes are not generally aggressive. However, they can be very territorial when it comes to their nests. They can show aggressive behavior if they sense any harm or intrusion into their territories.

Would they make a good pet?

We wouldn't recommend keeping Louisiana waterthrushes as a pet. These birds are wild animals and enjoy living near the water. They are born in the wild and have adapted to thrive in these environments. However, they do not show any signs of not being able to adapt to a captive environment and they are not aggressive. In order to care for these birds, they should be kept in a healthy environment and fed regularly.

Did you know...

These birds face their main threats due to habitat loss which is a result of climate change. If climate change persists, global temperatures will keep getting warmer. As a result, this species will suffer a decline in their geographic range. It means that a Louisiana waterthrush range will become increasingly smaller due to habitat loss until there are no more suitable places for them to live.

Although it is not known what a group of Louisiana waterthrushes are called, birds typically go by the collective nouns of flock, fleet, colony, and parcel.

Why is the Louisiana waterthrush important?

These birds are important because they act as environmental indicators as they are able to indicate the health of streams and the quality of streams. Besides telling us the health of streams, they are a bio-indicator of the ecosystem around them in general. They also consume certain pests which are harmful to humans. They are also special because they have a small range of breeding. In fact, the overall area of their range is quite limited. They were also one of the first winter birds to arrive in the state of Florida during the breeding season. Another speciality about them is the fact that although their name suggests that they are a thrush, they are actually a type of a warbler. Both thrush and warbler are types of birds, however the difference between them is their appearance.

When are Louisiana waterthrushes most active?

These birds are most active during the day. However, they sometimes fall asleep for little durations during the day time. Louisiana waterthrushes  are not nocturnal birds. This means that they sleep during the night and remain inactive during this time. Their season of breeding ranges from April to June. These are the months when Louisiana waterthrushes are the most active, in comparison to other months of the year. It is during this time that there lies a greater chance of spotting the bird. You will typically spot them near streams and rivers.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including prairie warbler, or pine warbler.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Louisiana Waterthrush coloring pages.



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