Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Most Brilliant Yellow of All.

I read a report that a male prothonotary warbler had returned to his breeding territory along lower McAlpine Creek Greenway so I snuck over to take a look yesterday. Sure enough, as I approached the described area a loud, rapid, monotonous tweet tweet tweet  rang out from a group of small stumps in the swampy muck. It was the golden swamp warbler indeed!

Prothonotary warblers are in my opinion the most brilliantly colored yellow bird in our area. In high breeding plumage, as this one was, the yellow is so deep that it can take on orange tones around the face. See the photo below. The quarreling males flash gold in the shadows of the swamps that they call home.

This bird was really easy to see. Park at the restroom building and parking lot off Johnston Road in south Charlotte. Follow the paved trail under Johnston Road. Go just a couple of hundred feet to a short boardwalk extension to the right. you should see two prothonotary warbler nest boxes in the mud and water. Listen for the loud song and with patience you should be able to see this bold beauty.

Prothonotary Warbler by Ron Clark