Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FOY Louisiana Waterhtrush - in Belize

[We saw more Northern Waterthrushes than Louisiana's in Belize, but this one is a Louisiana - on the deck of Pook's Hill Lodge. Click to enlarge.]

As predicted, my FOY (First Of Year, a good acronym for birders) Louisiana Waterthrush was in Belize, although the Cape May FOY will not be far behind. Indeed, many Louisiana Waterthrushes had pulled out of Belize when we were there last week, and some had already reached breeding sites in the southern U.S. I see, for example, that Nate Swick had one March 20 at Eno River State Park in North Carolina. Cape May birds arrive within a stone's throw of April 1, and north Jersey streams get their's only a few days later.

One of the best field marks to separate Louisiana Waterthrush from Northern shows well on the bird pictured above, which we watched while drinking our morning coffee. Louisiana's eyebrow, or supercilium, is white, bold, and long, and generally widens behind the eye. Northern's is narrower, shorter, often buffy, and never widens behind the eye.

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