Jun 03 2014

Not Your Typical Backyard Bird

Published by at 7:20 am under Nesting & Courtship,Songbirds

A pair of prothonotary warblers, Conneaut Marsh (photo by Shawn Collins)

This pair of prothonotary warblers at a nest box may give you the impression you can attract them to your yard if you install the proper box.


Surprising for a warbler, prothonotaries choose old woodpecker holes or nest boxes for their nests but they are picky about habitat.  They only nest in forested bottomland, flooded river valleys or swamps.

The male returns from Central America before his lady and places nesting material inside his selected site.  Often it's over water.  When his lady arrives he hopes she'll agree that he's chosen the right place.  If she likes it she adds twigs, leaves, moss and rootlets to finish the nest.

You can't convince this bird to nest in your back yard ... unless your yard is a wooded swamp.


p.s. Thanks to Shawn Collins for the photo that sparked this topic.

(prothonotary warblers at Conneaut Marsh, photo by Shawn Collins)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Not Your Typical Backyard Bird”

  1. Nannie Underwoodon 03 Jun 2014 at 11:04 am

    We have these lovely birds nesting here in our yard (plus our neighbors next door) and they nest in birdhouses or gourds. (we are just outside Baton Rouge, LA) It is such a joy to watch those babies fledge! The parent birds are now incubating the second brood of the season.

  2. Kate St. Johnon 03 Jun 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Wow, Nannie! You don’t have a typical back yard!

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