By Shirley Devan, Volunteer, Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory
We are checking the Prothonotary Warbler nest boxes every week down in Chesapeake at Northwest River Park. These days we're finding lots of second clutches.
But sometimes we find other wildlife…like a Black Rat Snake in one box a couple of weeks ago. Now that's a surprise. Unfortunately, the snake had eaten PROW nestlings. Subsequently we repositioned that box.
The PROW nestlings are only in the box for 10 days before they fledge. Steve Living and I have a short window to band nestlings, who should be 5 grams or 5 days old when banded.
We've banded over 100 nestlings so far and trapped over 30 females, four of which were banded as adults in 2009! At least four migratory round trips for these ladies.
Top photo: Black Rat Snake in nest box
Second photo: Second PROW nest on top of first one
Third photo: Five PROW nestlings with new bands on their legs
Fourth photo: Steve Living returns banded nestlings to Box A7.