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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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PROTHONOTARY WARBLER - Species Profile

This bright yellow migratory songbird is very specific about its habitat requirements. They are water lovers...and nest in trees at the edge of, or even in, water.

HABITAT

They prefer borders of creeks and rivers, but also nest over still water in riverine floodplains. The warbler migrates to Central and South America for the winter.

NESTING

NESTBOX: 4x4"-5x5", 1.25 to 1.5" Hole

They prefer borders of creeks and rivers, but also nest over still water in riverine floodplains. They are water lovers...and nest in trees at the edge of, or even in, water. Nestboxes should be placed on trees or posts from 4 to 6 feet above ground or water.

FOOD

In spring, summer and fall, insects are their primary food. Their breeding period and raising their fledglings require an abundant supply of insects. In winter, the majority of its diet is plant food, such as berries, acorns, seeds, nuts and sunflower seeds.

WATER

Since Prothonotary Warblers are such water lovers, they tend to remain in natural water-rich territory. They seldom visit backyard water offerings.

COVER

Natural landscaping of trees and bushes along streams, ponds and rivers is habitat that encourages these warblers to stay and produce two or even three broods per season.

Small bushes provide lush cover from overhead hawks and predators. Brushpiles are also handy for many small birds who must take cover from predators.

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INTERESTING TIDBITS

There are many kinds of warblers, but only two North American species are cavity nesters. They are the Prothonotary and Lucy's warblers.

The Prothonotary warbler has been courted by birdhouse enthusiasts and research is showing that a pair will often use the same nestbox for two broods in a single season. There is one record of three different pairs using the same birdhouse to raise their broods, one pair after another, in a single season. That sounds like a cry for more housing!

4x4" or 5x5" nestboxes will accomodate the following cavity nesters. Species-specific predator guards are helpful.

  • Eastern Bluebirds
  • Red & White Breasted Nuthatches
  • Wrens - Carolina, House, Bewick's
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Prothonotary Warbler
  • Downey Woodpecker

    For more articles about NATURE & KIDS

    Young Birders Get Serious About Birding Fun
    The Squirrel Family 0 Backyard Nature Safari
    Hamsters are rodents and cuddly pets
    Kids Learning Links
    Buddy's Diner (for the birds)
    Bird Profiles for Young Naturalists