Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Magee Marsh Residents

The boardwalk at Magee Marsh is not only a stop over for migrants but is also the summer home to quite a few birds too. Most notably, the Prothonotary Warbler. A few pairs of these birds nest along the boardwalk. They nest in cavities and always above water. In some areas, people put nest boxes on posts in swampy areas but at Magee, there are natural nest cavities too. Here is a beautiful male preparing a nest for his mate.

Prothonotary Warbler - male
And here is the mate gathering twigs and grass right on the boardwalk. She literally has no fear of the people walking the boardwalk since she is solely focused on getting that nest built.

Female Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary warblers are some of the sought after birds because of their beautiful yellow color but they aren't the only yellow birds that call Magee boardwalk home. Yellow Warblers were building their nests too. In fact, there were at least 6 nests along the boardwalk. This one was the most photographable. I stood on the railing to get up high enough to snap a few shots. Here she is with a beak full of fine silk maybe from a spider web.

Yellow Warbler
The next series shows how she moves around the nest getting it formed just right before going off to find more materials.






Yellow Warbler
It's not just warblers, other birds like this Woodcock also build their nests at the park. In fact, the people who mow the lawn at the parking area have to rope off areas where they find the nests. Here is one of the Woodcocks laying low in the bushes just off of the parking lot. Our friend Steve spotted it. I love that fluffy butt!

Woodcock
And there are now 2 active Bald Eagle nests within a few hundred yards of each other in the parking area. I didn't shoot any photos of the nests, but Connie, Peanut and I watched one of the adults fishing for perch just off the beach. Spoiler alert, he didn't get a fish.

Bald Eagle
The other fun thing about Magee Marsh is that we saw people that we know there. Edie and her friends from DVOC, Chris and Gerry, and Harvey's friend Steve too. Off to another destination this week. Hoping to squeeze in some really good bird stuff in between work meetings in Massachusetts.

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