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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Northern Waterthrush -- Seiurus noveboracensis

RANGE: Breeds from Alaska and southern Mackenzie across Canada to central Labrador and Newfoundland, south to northwestern Washington and east to central Michigan, northeastern Ohio, southeastern West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. Winters mostly from Mexico to South America and the West Indies.

STATUS: Locally common.

HABITAT: Generally inhabits thickets along edges of swamps, ponds, and wooded streams with numerous fallen trees. Prefers woodlands and shrubs around standing water rather than moving streams.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Cool, shady, wet, brushy areas with open pools.

NEST: Builds nests on the ground among fallen trees, at the base of living trees, in cavities of rotten stumps, and under overhanging banks or cuts.

FOOD: Gleans food from moist soil and litter, consuming aquatic and terrestrial insects, small crustaceans, mollusks, and some minnows and worms.

REFERENCES: Griscom and Sprunt 1979, Johnsgard 1979, Petersen in Farrand 1983c.

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