Prothonotary Warbler Nesting Boxes

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Pictured above are baby Prothonotary Warblers in a nesting box on the Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge. Moss is one of the most favored materials used by this species when building a nest for their young. 


The Prothonotary Warbler, also known as “The Candle of the Swamp” due to its bright color, is the only eastern warbler to nest in tree cavities. They prefer bottomland forest and favor nesting cavities above or near water. Unfortunately, their populations are declining due to habitat loss. 


In 2013, nesting boxes were placed in locations on the refuge known to be favored by this species for breeding. During the breeding season the boxes are checked approximately every 10 days by refuge staff and volunteers. Data such as presence of and type of nesting material, number of eggs/young, and presence of adult Prothonotary Warbler in/on/near box are collected.