If the wood warblers are the crown jewels of the bird world, then the prothonotary warbler may be the lost Florentine Diamond. A golden-yellow like none other.
Walking the trails last Thursday, photographing the storm damage, I heard my first prothonotary of the season on the west end of the River Boardwalk.
Then on Monday and again early Tuesday morning, Emily and Than Boves heard and saw one just off the River Trail along the inner channel near Otter Island downstream from my encounter.
The prothonotary (Protonotaria citrea) is the only warbler to nest in the county, preferring hollow tree cavities over the water but they will also use a nestbox.
Emily has placed two in hospitabile locations at Ijams: one on the river, the other at the Ijams family Lotus Pond. It's viewable from the pond boardwalk. If either are used, we'll post it here.
Look and listen for prothonotary warblers along the River Trail, generally downstream from the boardwalk.
- By Stephen Lyn Bales