Prothonotary warbler

Protonotaria citrea

SUBFAMILY

Parulinae

TAXONOMY

Protonotaria citrea Boddaert, 1783, Louisiana. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Paruline protonotaire; German: Orangefleck-Waldsanger; Spanish: Reinita Cabecidorada.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5-5.5 in (12.7—14 cm). Long, thin bill, bright golden yellow and gray plumage, and a fairly short tail. Its name comes from

a resemblance of its plumage to the garb of court clerks, known as prothonotaries. The female is similar but less brightly colored.

DISTRIBUTION

Breed from Florida west to Texas and north to Minnesota, southern Ontario and Pennsylvania. Winters in pristine rainforest habitats from southern Mexico to Venezuela.

HABITAT

Wooded swamps.

BEHAVIOR

Song is a repeated series of "tweets." Often seen poking into the saturated logs of the swamps, where it resides.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Mainly insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Unusual for warblers, it builds its mainly moss nests in tree holes such as old woodpecker holes, or in nest boxes. Average clutch size is three to eight, with speckled light pink eggs that hatch in about two weeks.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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