Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Prothonotary Warblers Are Back!

The Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) have returned to the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest!  Not only have they returned, but the birds spotted yesterday were all birds banded during last year's Project PROTHO.  This year, they became the first data collected for Year II of Project PROTHO.

The Dwarf Trillium has been blooming.  The Yellow-throated Warblers (Dendroica dominica) and Northern Parulas (Parula americana) have been singing and the Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) have finally gained access to remove the dead deer.  However, now the swamp will reverberate with the "sweet, sweet, sweet!" of the Prothonotary Warbler!

One of the banded Prothonotary Warblers was A056.  He was the host parent of a Brown-headed Cowbird chick last year and nested near #138.  Today, he was spotted from #128 all the way to #149.  As more Prothonotary Warblers arrive and begin vying for territory, the movements of individual birds will restricted.

It looks like spring has finally arrived.  This is a terrific time to visit the old-growth swamp as a family or with a school group!

Images by Mark Musselman

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