My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

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Prothonotary Warbler at INWR

Published June 12, 2013
Tags: Life List Happenings, Prothonotary Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Great Blue Heron, Eastern Wood-Pewee

I made plans to try for the Prothonotary Warbler at Tonawanda WMA today and got off to an early start, uninterrupted by work this time! As we approached the area he has been frequenting, Celeste recognized his song immediately. Pat Martin had already been there and walked over to join us and soon, another birder, Linda, joined us as well.  Within a few minutes, a gorgeous Prothonotary Warbler flew over the open walkway between the two wooded areas. Most of us got good binocular views of the bird but I must admit, it left me somewhat unsatisfied.

After everyone in my group left, another couple joined me (John Boettcher and Norma Platt) and they, too, got some looks at the warbler. They headed out to find the Yellow-breasted Chat in Carlton Hill MUA and a Black Tern (I need that one too!). So... left to myself, I decided to wait the bird out.  I sat down (trying to stay clear of the goose poop) and quietly and motionlessly waited...

Finally, not one but TWO gorgeous Prothonotaries came in and were flying and foraging out in the open area at the edge of the woods.  I didn't think my camera was shooting fast enough for my taste, but I did manage to get over 50 shots with varying degrees of success during that short opportunity!  (Make that 40 shots - I was shooting anything yellow and I just noticed I have several American Goldfinches in the batch!)

After that, I called it a day and left feeling very satisfied with the great looks I got.

On a more somber note, the Prothonotary Warbler is not doing well. It's already been declared endangered in Canada and its populations are decreasing everywhere due to its extreme specific habitat  requirement (wooded swamps), which are being destroyed by man's insatiable need to expand and build. Remember to support your local politicians who have a good track record supporting conservation efforts!

Some of the other birds of note that I/we heard or saw were: Warbling Vireo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Pied-billed Grebe, Great-crested Flycatcher, Great Blue Heron, an Osprey, a Red-tailed Hawk, and a Wood Duck (seen by Pat).

As I was leaving, my daughter texted me that an American Kestrel was injured in their yard by a cat.  She and her husband rescued the kestrel and I may have the opportunity to help them take it to Hawk Creek Wildlife Center later.  If that all comes about, I will post about it.

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Prothonotary Warbler
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Prothonotary Warbler
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Prothonotary Warbler
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Taking off for the other side!
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Prothonotary Warbler - further away
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Prothonotary Warbler - cropped
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The elusive Marsh Wren was finally caught by my camera. Not the best shot, but I'll take it; he's tough!
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Swamp Sparrow
Reply from: Crystal on 6/13/2013 7:52 AM
 Your photos of the prothonotary warbler are absolutely gorgeous!!