The Louisiana waterthrush is the focus of a long-term conservation study carried out at the museumís nature reserve since 1996. In ecology, some species are so dependent upon their habitat that the stability of their population is a ďbio-indicatorĒ of the health of the ecosystem at large; the Louisiana waterthrush is one such species. Because it relies on a wet woodland habitat and running water, the wooded banks and pristine streams of the reserve provide an ideal home. The museumís study of this species has yielded critical information about such environmental threats as mine drainage and acid rain. Learn more about this ongoing study on the reserveís website: http://www.carnegiemnh.org/powdermill/waterthrush.html
This birdís Latin name was changed in 2010 to Parkesia in honor of the late Kenneth Parkes, a former curator of birds at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Among Parkesí more than 500 scholarly contributions to the field of ornithology was his landmark publication on molts and plumage which still stands as the framework upon which modern applications are based. In 2010 the American Ornithologistsí Union renamed the bird in honor of Parkesí many contributions to his field; Parkes had long argued that the Louisiana waterthrush should be placed in a separate genus from the ovenbird, which it resembles.
Photo: David Speiser, lilibirds.com