Thursday, April 16, 2015

a burst of winged sunshine


Prothonotary warbler

If you see but one bird. Yes, gaze upon just one bird over the next few weeks. Then truly you should make it a prothonotary warbler.

If you look up the word exquisite in the dictionary, I think there will be an illustration of a prothonotary beside the entry. Sunflower yellow, gray-green wings, it is indeed exquisite and blithe—a burst of winged sunshine.

The name "Prothonotary" honors the color of the bright yellow robes worn by the clerks in the Roman Catholic church.

They spend the bulk of the year like most warblers far to the south in the tropics: Central America and just a brush with the northern countries of South America, primarily Columbia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.  

In late spring and summer, this wood-warbler haunts our wetlands, swamps and river shorelines and they nest in hollow tree cavities or even bluebird boxes near the water. To my ear, their high-pitched songs rotate like a squeaky wheel.

A good place to begin your search is along the River Trail at Ijams, but you have to stay sharp, they're lively splashes of yellow like a Van Gogh canvas dripping with saffron.

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

Beautiful bird. My husband got a picture of one of these at Noxubee Wildlife Refuge a few years ago. We got real excited about seeing this 'new' bird.