Prothonotary Warbler

General description.

The name comes from the golden crown of this warbler, which is said to resemble the yellow hood worn by prothonotaries (clerical) officials of earlier times. Also known as the "Golden Swamp Warbler" this pretty bird is an inhabitant of wet forest areas.

Female appearance.

The female "Prothonotary Warbler" is similar to the male, but duller.

Breeding habits.

The "Prothonotary Warbler" breeds in swamp lands, mainly in the eastern half of the United States.

Calls or song.

The males have two songs: one composed of repeated notes sounding like "peet, tsweet, tswee, tsweet"; the other is more complex rendered as, "chwee-chwee-chwee-chwee, teer, teer, teer".

Population and distribution.

The "Prothonotary Warbler" winters in the tropics.

Nesting habits.

The "Prothonotary" is the only eastern warbler that nests in tree cavities, often excavated by woodpeckers. These are found near water: streams, rivers, lakes and even swimming pools. Their singular nesting habits may be due to adaptation to habitat, where holes are numerous, but where dense bushes, the usual warbler nesting sites, are scarce. The female fills the hole with moss and twigs and lays four to six creamy eggs spotted with brown and gray.
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