One of the sure signs of spring in the midwest is the beautiful little Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea). Being an avid kayaker in local backwoods areas, it is always a thrill to be kayaking and hear the Prothonotary warbler calling out, announcing it's return.
It often sings from high in the trees and being small, it can be difficult to spot among the newly emerged leaves. But keeping an eye towards where the repeated call originates will eventually lead one to seeing the beautiful little bird as it quickly flits around.
Here are a few images I've managed to catch of this little warbler, all from "Rubber Ducky", my trusty kayak:
I often find the Prothonotary Warbler on poison ivy vines, looking for insects that may be hiding underneath the leaves of the plant:
It is fun to watch the warbler foraging for insects and worms ... and they have a good track record of being able to find them!
And then there's nesting. This little guy is collecting moss and small plantlife from among the many downed trees in the creek, and then carrying this nest material to the nest, a cavity in a nearby tree:
But he will occasionally stop to sing his cheerful little song to me as I drift about in the kayak:
These little guys tend to be territorial and will often fight to defend their territory:
But in the end, it's time to sing once again:
I think you will agree this is quite a pleasant sight, especially after a long, cold winter!