Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Northern Waterthrush

 Photos updated in October 2010. Please see blog below.
 Over the summer, I have only seen one Northern Waterthrush, each time in the same location. I found it very entertaining to watch this little bird, all 23 grams of it, march over the top of this Duck Weed. They are known to stay in areas of slow-flowing water and bog. That is exactly where I saw this one regularly.

It finally feels like summer is breaking through! The sun is out and the day is shaping up to be a nice one. Since I have a lot of gardening to do today,  birding will have to slip into the background.

Today, I am introducing the Northern Waterthrush. This little bird appeared very briefly at a small water hole on Cochrane Pond Road. When I say briefly, I really mean briefly. I had one shot only to capture it and this is it.

The Northern Waterthrush is common in Newfoundland and tends to be found around calm and/or standing waters. It's face and underparts markings are a dull yellowish color. Some adults may also show with white instead of yellow. When feeding, this bird will often bob its tail up and down. The Northern Waterthrush feeds on the ground among all of the fallen trees and budding leaves making it difficult to see. It is very easy to mistake this bird for a sparrow at first glace. I think the most important feature to separate it from a sparrow (with only a brief glance) is the shape of the beak.

I don't imagine I will see any new birds today from my back yard but one of my priorities is to make my yard more bird-friendly. There are trees and plants that are attractive to birds as well as feeders, water supply and nesting places. This is one of the main reasons that I have to get out my work gloves and gardening tools. If I could only have the birds come to me instead of me going to the birds!

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