Rare Bird: Prothonotary Warbler

September 16, 2016

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Bill Maynard, a botanist and former high school biology teacher, has worked for various government agencies from Alaska to South Florida and for The American Birding Association. He discovered the 87,000 acre Chico Basin Ranch to be the perfect natural laboratory to study and photograph birds, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. Chico Basin Ranch Natural History Resources : BIRDING CHECKLIST // BIRDING MAP // DRAGONFLY & DAMSELFLY CHECKLIST //

One of the warblers every birder wants to see is Prothonotary Warbler.  The name comes for the very bright yellow that was compared to the yellow hoods of papal notaries. A better name, and one which was historically used for this species, is “Golden Swamp Warbler” which accurately describes both the color and the location where this species breeds.  It is in fact a swamp species and one of only two warblers who nests in tree cavities.  The closest to Colorado this species breeds is eastern Kansas as it is really an eastern species. This is the third record of this species for Chico, the first fall record, and only the second one banded here.