Parkesia Noveboracensis – Northern Waterthrush

Parkesia Noveboracensis - Northern Waterthrush found migrating in the US

The northern waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis) is a big New World warbler and a migratory songbird found in the Nearctic-Neotropical region. It breeds throughout Canada and the northern United States, including Alaska.

Quick Overview: Parkesia Noveboracensis – Northern Waterthrush
Body size: Around 5.75 in (15 cm) and a weight of 23 g (0.8 oz).
Main colors: Brown, Yellow, White
Range: South and Eastern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: March, April, May, September, October, November
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Northern Waterthrush Description

The warbler is a ground-walker with dark brown upperparts and pale yellow to white underparts with dark, thick streaking. Brows are dense and range in color from pale yellow to white.

Parkesia Noveboracensis - Northern Waterthrush found migrating in the US
Parkesia Noveboracensis – Northern Waterthrush. Photo by: Logan Kahle


These birds have a length of 5.75 in (15 cm) and a weight of 23 g (0.8 oz). Their wings could range from 8.75 in (22 cm).


The northern waterthrush is a ground feeder that feeds on insects, mollusks, and crustaceans that are found in leaf litter.


Northern Waterthrushes like chilly, dark, forested swamps, bog thickets, the edges of northern lakes, and rivers with willow and alder borders. The bird can be found in dense cover along streams, marshes, and around stagnant pools during the spring and fall migrations.


Northern waterthrushes depart daytime foraging regions in Puerto Rico and fly up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) to nightly roosts. The roosts are frequently seen in ecosystems of red mangroves. Females spend the winter in drier, less food-rich areas.

Parkesia Noveboracensis Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Parulidae
  • Genus: Parkesia
  • Species: Parulidae noveboracensis

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds are during the Spring season (March-May) and during the Autumn season (September – November).

Distribution of the Northern Waterthrush in the USA

Breeds from Alaska and a large portion of Canada south to the northern United States. Spends the winter in the tropics.

The Northern Waterthrush can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Parkesia Noveboracensis – Northern Waterthrush

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