Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler (Wisconsin DNR image)
I thought it was a Goldfinch when it landed in the cherry tree outside the kitchen window. Only, finches prefer the nijer seed-filled sock, and this bird was perched in the tree, eating something tasty from an open knothole in the trunk.

As I watched it, it occurred to me that the bright yellow male Goldfinches have black caps, and this bird did not. I tried to pay attention to details of color, and ID came from the trusty bird guide.

We are apparently in the northern-most breeding region for this warbler. They like floodplains, so perhaps the creek that runs through our backyard  qualifies (the mortgage lender sure thought so... but that is another story). Being the geeky-dork that I am, I emailed the state biologist about spotting the bird. I'm hoping two things: 1) that I can learn what to put out for these birds to eat, and 2) that he even cares... Then again, he's running a nesting program for this warbler, so maybe only geek, not so much dork.