Brown-and-white denizen of bubbling streams and brooks. Look for white underparts with dark streaks, light buffy wash on the rear flanks, and bold white eyebrow. Stays on or near the ground, constantly bobbing its rear end up and down. Males sometime perch up high to sing. A very early migrant: arrives on the breeding grounds in eastern North America before most other warblers have even dreamed of starting migration, and arrives back on the wintering grounds as early as July or August. During the breeding season, favors fast-moving streams with lots of rocks to hop on. In the northern parts of its range, often in steep hemlock-lined ravines. Winters primarily in Middle America and the Caribbean, where it’s slightly less picky about habitat, and can be found around slower-moving water. Very similar to Northern Waterthrush, but whiter base color below, brighter pink legs, and broader white eyebrow. Also look for clean white throat (usually streaked on Northern). Best distinguished by song: several piercing clear whistles followed by a complex jumble of notes. Call note very similar to Northern: a loud, metallic chip.
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