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Reinita Cabecidorado (Spanish) Protonotaria citrea Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes Family: Parulidae Genus: Protonotaria Distribution Its

summer breeding range is throughout the eastern U.S., and north to extreme southwestern Ontario. They migrate south to the U.S. Gulf Coast and then make a relatively short hop across the Gulf to land in Central and northern South America where they spend the winter months. Habitat They breed in wooded areas near water, especially flooded bottomland hardwood forests, cypress swamps, and along large lakes and rivers. They winter in mangrove swamps and coastal tropical forests. Food During the breeding season they eat mostly insects and snails; the bulk of the food taken includes caterpillars, flies, midges, spiders and mayflies. Being at the fringe of its range in southwestern Ontario it is restricted almost entirely to a few areas on and adjacent to the Lake Erie shoreline. The core populations in Canada reside in Rondeau Provincial Park and the Long Point region. It is more abundant in the southeastern U.S. and up the Mississippi River. The bulk of the population winters in the coastal areas of Panama, northern Venezuela and northern Columbia. However, the species can also be found in coastal mangroves as far north as Mexicos Yucatan Peninsula. Eighty percent of the population is compressed into a relatively small geographic area during the winter. This warbler is very dependent on deciduous swamp forests that are typically dominated by silver maple or buttonbush. Their swamps always have large expanses of open standing water and little shrub cover. They frequently occur along the margins of slow moving, warm-water creeks and rivers lined with large willows. The prothonotary warbler will not inhabit an area during the breeding season unless it has an ample supply of moss. Swamp forests are great spots for the proliferation of mosses. These are used to line nesting cavities. They also line the nest with fine grass and rootlets. The male brings the nesting female tasty green caterpillars to munch on. When the chicks hatch both parents provide them with proteinrich caterpillars, which are a particular favourite. On their wintering grounds the prothonotary warblers also eat fruits, seeds, and nectar along with insects.

Reproduction In the spring they return to the breeding grounds. Males precede the females and establish territories. They select potential nesting sites and do some preliminary building. Females arrive and inspect these nest cavities. She chooses one and completes the building of the nest. Development After hatching the parents are kept very busy feeding their chicks for the next ten to twelve days. The young grow very quickly. Characteristics These are very attractive birds. They have bright golden- yellow heads and under parts, yellow-green backs, azure blue wings and tails, and large white tail spots. The beak is long. Adaptations Partial nests built by the males appear to serve several functions. In areas further south than Ontario they will attempt a second nesting. Recovery programs involving nest box placements are being well received by this species. Status/Threats Endangered in Canada. Populations are declining due to loss of wetlands and breeding habitats as well as loss of winter habitat. Sightings at Cano Palma

These warblers use naturally formed hollows and previous excavations of other birds. Fairly low cavities (one to three metres up) are favoured, especially if over open pools of water. More often than not the male will build one or more incomplete dummy nests, adding just a shallow layer of moss to cavities scattered within its territory. The cavity chosen by her is filled almost to the brim with nesting material. She lays her eggs one day at a time. The clutch size is six eggs, but eight-egg clutches are fairly common. She does all the incubation. The male tends her on the nest, bringing food, chasing away avian intruders as well as singing, frequently. Eggs usually hatch after 12 days. Owing to the crowded conditions, the young leave the next as soon as possible. There has not been enough room for them to stretch or exercise their wings and the first flight is quite difficult. The determination of these very young birds on their inaugural flight is very impressive. One brave fledgling takes off followed quickly by the others. Sustained flight is not yet possible and they invariably land in nearby low-hanging branches. They instinctively work their way up. The sexes are similar, with the females and immatures being a little less brilliant in colour. This small songbird is about 14 cm long and weighs about 14 grams. The territorial song is a loud repeated tsweeettsweeet-tsweeet-tsweeet. It is very much a Carolinian species. Although relatively tolerant of humans it is sensitive to human disturbance around its nest site. It is named after church officials, protonotarri, who wore golden hoods and blue capes. By building several partial nests the male is advertising his territorys choice of nesting possibilities to the females. He is also implying to other nest-building competitors the area is already full. There is some evidence he uses these as nighttime roosting sites. Males have already invested time laying foundations for nests thus saving the females a day of nest building in an all-too-short nesting season. Prothonotaries have been known to use some strange nesting sites, including a toolbox, the pocket of an old coat, a paper sack, a mailbox, a glass jar and a teacup. They adapt well to nest boxes when provided. It is protected under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act. In the U.S. it is listed as a species of special conservation concern. Logging activities, drainage of swamps for development and sustained high lake levels all contribute to endangerment. More natural threats include birds competing for nest sites, nest parasitism and nest predators such as raccoons. These are often seen along the canal in early spring.

References http://www.bsc-eoc.org/prowmain.html. Extracted 2008 Nov. 8 http://www.audubon2.org/watchlist/viewSpecies.jsp?id=165.Extraxted 2008 Nov.8 http://www.rom.on.ca/ontario/risk.php?doc_type=fact&id=123.Extracted 2008 Nov.8

Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation www.coterc.org