One of the earliest wood-warblers to arrive each spring here in the northeast is the Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla). Just like with Pine Warblers and Palm Warblers, we birders go out of our way to make sure that we see them as soon as they show up while the later-migrating and very similar Northern Waterthrush gets nowhere near the same amount of attention. And though Louisiana Waterthrush prefer habitat with clear, rushing streams next to which to nest, while they are on migration they are much less picky and can be found in a variety of wet habitats. That makes the waterhole at Forest Park an ideal spot to see them as they fatten up on the variety of invertebrates that call the vernal pool home.

Louisiana Waterthrush with prey

I don’t know what this Louisiana Waterthrush is eating but I know that I am glad that I am not eating it.

The photographs in this post were all digiscoped on the same day, way back on 12 April, before my computer had an unfortunate incident with a glass a water. All the shots are of the same bird. I’ve been patiently awaiting my computer’s repair so I could share these images and hopefully they were worth the wait. Every image except the one up top has a bigger version accessible via clicking so click away!

Louisiana Waterthrush grabbing prey

This shot was taken right before the one above it. In life, I never saw the wings shoot out to help the bird keep its balance.

Louisiana Waterthrush portrait

The bird was totally comfortable and actually came within my minimum focusing distance several times. It was great to get such close looks with enough light to digiscope the waterthrush.

Louisiana Waterthrush uncropped

Here I caught it at the top of a little bob, the Louisiana Waterthrush version of pushups.

Louisiana Waterthrush with reflection

Of course, I wasn’t the only one admiring the bird. It seemed quite fond of its own image – or, at least, that is what I surmised from its constant positioning of itself to get ideal reflections.

If you liked this post and want to see more images of birds make sure to check out 10,000 Clicks, our big (and growing) page of galleries here at 10,000 Birds.

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.