The Prothonotary Warbler boxes at Northwest River Park in Chesapeake are open and ready for birds to move in. And a few have taken us up on the offer.
April 13 and 14, Steve Living and I along with three volunteers, Les Lawrence, Janet Lockwood, and Geoff Giles, checked over 80 boxes by motorized canoe and discovered 9 Carolina Chickadee nests (no nestlings yet), one Prothonotary Warbler nest, and quite a few wasp nests. Male Prothonotary Warblers are definitely back in Virginia – seen and heard everywhere along the box trail.
This citizen science project is supervised by Dr. Bob Reilly, Master Bander and VP of CVWO and Professor in the Center for Environmental Studies at VCU, with assistance from Steve Living, Wildlife Biologist with VA DGIF and Shirley Devan, Williamsburg Bird Club and Historic Rivers Chapter, VA Master Naturalist.
Above is a photo of the Prothonotary Warbler nest found April 14, constructed with cypress twigs. Also, a photo of Steve Living driving the boat and "happy" Les Lawrence installing “false fronts” on the boxes to help us capture male Prothonotary Warblers later in the season as they feed the nestlings.