Northern Waterthrush Bird Identification

Northern Waterthrush Bird Identification
The northern waterthrush is a songbird that inhabits northern portion of the United States and much of Canada. It eats insects, small fish and invertebrates such as snails. It is identifiable by its markings, behavior and song.


The length of the northern waterthrush ranges from 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches. It has a wingspan close to 9 inches in the largest specimens.


The back of this bird is a solid brown, but the underbelly is creamy white and streaked with brown markings. A dark stripe runs through the eye and a whitish one runs above it.


The northern waterthrush has a habit of bobbing its tail up and down as it walks about. This bird stays mostly on the ground and frequently wades into the water.


Its song can identify the waterthrush. According to, it sounds like a series of "chees," "chips" and "chews" put together, with the call described as quite loud.


The nest of the northern waterthrush looks like a cup, and materials such as moss, stems and hair line it. The bird constructs it in such places as under logs, in the roots of downed trees or in the bank of a stream.

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