Two hundred nest boxes will be placed on 69 acres of disturbed wetlands within the Francis Beidler Forest, while one hundred nest boxes will be placed on 34 acres of disturbed wetlands on private lands within the Four Holes Swamp watershed. While Beidler Forest contains 1,700 acres of old-growth, bald cypress-tupelo swamp, most of the remaining forest has been logged during the last 100 years. In these young forested wetlands, the natural nest cavities that Prothonotary Warblers require for nesting are less abundant than in the old-growth portions of the swamp. Studies have shown that installing nest boxes in these areas will increase nesting density and reproductive success.
Twenty five to fifty volunteers from the South Carolina Master Naturalist program will help us install the nest boxes at the five sites within the Four Holes Swamp watershed. A Project PROTHO intern will be hired to monitor the boxes throughout the nesting season. Upon conclusion of the 2010 breeding season, we will hold a meeting for private landowners in the Four Holes Swamp watershed to recruit additional landowners to participate in the nest box program and restore Prothonotary Warbler breeding habitat in 2011.