Bird of the Week: Prothonotary Warbler

TEN FACTS ABOUT Prothonotary Warbler.

1. Prothonotary are most prevalent in the wooded swamplands of the Southeastern United States but some breed as far north as Southern Ontario. 

2. Prothonotary Warbler are almost always found around water – be it a swamp, stream, lake, or even river.

3. Prothontary Warbler are often heard before they are seen – and when they are first seen, it is usually as a bright yellow flash.

4. Prothonotary Warbler forage the understory along the edge of wetlands – usually the stagnant water of wooded swamps or the slow-moving water of streams.


Prothonotary Warbler Habitat

Prothonotary Warbler Swamp Habitat

5. The Prothonotary Warbler nests in the cavities of dead but still-standing trees. In most cases, the cavities were previously formed and used by woodpeckers for nesting.

6. In spring, male Prothonotary Warbler select multiple nesting site options and mark each with moss, the female then inspects the options and ultimately makes the final call on which site will be used.

7. Prothonotary Warbler may use a nesting box if provided in suitable habitat, be sure to protect the species from predators, like snakes and raccoons, by installing a baffle.

8. The Prothonotary Warbler is also known as the “Swamp Warbler.”

9. Male Prothonotary Warbler are a brighter shade of yellow than females.

10. Prothonotary Warbler populations appear to be declining, as both their breeding grounds - vast forested wetlands and wintering grounds – mangrove swamps in coastal Mexico and Central/South America are declining. Like many Warbler species the Prothonotary Warbler also suffers from Brown-Headed Cowbird nest parasitism.



Prothonotary Warbler T-Shirt