I went out into the front garden early this morning and began work on a new idea for planters that I came up with. As I worked by the patio table I noticed a flash of bright yellow out of the corner of my eye. I turned and saw it was a small but beautiful yellow bird that I have to admit I have never seen before in my 20 years of living here. I noticed that the bird had a beakful of nesting material and was obviously busy with construction. I followed it for a little while but could not figure out where the nest was being built.
I continued with my planter work and then noticed that the bird was hovering around the same place and then disappearing. It was then I realized why. They were moving into one of my nesting boxes. I was so excited I could barely contain myself. I finished up with my chores and went into the house for the camera and tripod. I grabbed the zoom lens, set up the camera and tripod next to a chair a respectful distance away and sat and waited. I just hoped that my activity around the nesting box had not spooked them. After about ten minutes of me sitting quietly I was rewarded.
After consulting my bird identification book I guessed that they are a pair of Prothonotary Warblers (although to be certain I have sent an e-mail to Cornell for confirmation). The female was very busy bringing the nesting material and obviously doing most of the construction work.
The male was busy checking out the other nesting boxes and I watched him as he checked out the other hanging one by this one and the one on the front porch post. Eventually he came back to the Red Barn and stood guard.
I cannot tell you how excited I am. I read more on the birds and they are a familiar resident of swampy forests in the south east so I am surprised that I have never seen them before as my house backs on to such a place. They often use nesting boxes, but I have only had mine for a couple of years so perhaps they have just discovered it. Also they are insect eaters, so it would be no surprise that I have not seen them at the feeders.
I shall be watching carefully from a distance to see if the nesting material is replaced by insects being taken into the box as Spring progresses, a sure sign that they have young in there. I just love it when a plan comes together!