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Prothonotary warbler        Images © Mark A. Chappell

The prothonotary is a brilliant yellow bird that favors swampy forest.   Unlike many wood warblers it nests in tree holes.   Males have gray-olive wings, bright white undertail coverts, stark black eyes and bill, and the rest of the body is almost painfully bright yellow.   Females are just slightly less colorful.   The male in the lush foliage was foraging and singing in early July, on a hot muggy day in a riparian forest near Manhattan, Kansas.   This is approximately the northwestern limit of the species' range but it is apparently expanding to the north.   The other bird, also a male, appeared in Pacific Grove, California in the fall of 2022; the species is a very rare vagrant to the west coast.

  • Canon 1D3 or R7, 800 mm IS lens + 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2009, 2022)