Species at Risk

Louisiana Waterthrush

Louisiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla)

Status in Canada: Special Concern

Status in Ontario: Special Concern

Status at SWCR: Rare breeding bird

This Medium-sized migratory songbird has a distinctive light stripe above the eye. It nests in the wetland habitats of the SWCR.

Quick Facts:

  • In Ontario, it only breeds in the province’s most southern regions.
  • It is very sensitive to disturbance and needs large areas of undisturbed forests with water features (streams and wetlands) to breed.
  • It eats mostly aquatic insects, and needs cold, clear water for hunting.
  • It often returns to the same breeding territory every year.

Threats at the St. Williams Conservation Reserve:

Habitat loss/degradation: due to human disturbance near breeding and hunting grounds, off-road vehicle use, water quality changes, and forest thinning activities.

Activities that can damage critical Louisiana Waterthrush habitat include:

  1. Tree removal that eliminates the closed canopy conditions needed by this species.
  2. Activities that can introduce or encourage the growth of invasive plants, such as dumping of garden waste and off-trail ATV use.
  3. Activities that change the water regime, or affect water quality in the woodlands.
  4. Activities that generate disturbance near breeding grounds such as off-trail hiking/ATV use and unauthorized plant collecting.

St. Williams Conservation Reserve management practices:

  • Population monitoring
  • Enforcement of unauthorized trail use

What you can do to help:

More information:

Species At Risk Public Registry Profile

Ontario Species at Risk Profile

Funding for this project was provided through the Species At Risk Stewardship Fund