PROW from here forward stands for PROthonotary Warbler, the monitoring of which will be ongoing from now until the end of July. Last week, we cleared the nest boxes of red wasp nests, dirt dauber nests, spiders but left the tree frogs, figuring they’d move out on their own once the males start nest building. This week, we went back to monitor to see if the males had started preparing the nests, which some of them have! It’s exciting to see them return from parts as far away as South America to their familiar nesting grounds; in this case, the Mandalay Wildlife Refuge.
Nat records all the information in a big binder, which she later enters into a data base. This is a great way of keeping track of a beautiful songbird, migratory species whose numbers have diminished significantly over the years as Louisiana’s coastline has eroded, making for a little longer journey to their nesting grounds every year.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be in the swamp, too. I’m always in awe of the beauty and never cease to be amazed at the grandeur of Nature. We see so many, many things; somethimes new things I’ve never before encountered firsthand. This time, as we pulled up to check a nest box, we startled a young deer on the bank! One day, I hope to see a Louisiana black bear! (From a safe distance, that is!) So far this season we’ve seen three species of turtles, many alligators (or course!); and we’ve seen or heard many species of birds: cardinal, red-winged black bird, yellow-throated warbler, Carolina chickadee, Northern parula, ruby-crowned kinglet, Carolina wren, white-eyed vireo, eagle, buzzard, anhinga, cormorant, moor hen, several heron and egret species, and of course, the study bird–PROW.
After all 20 boxes were checked and information recorded, I decided to explore a little ridge that was riddled with wild ferns, palmettos, huge vines, and wildflowers. I noticed the place last year but was never brave enough to get out of the boat and explore.
I thought I’d take some photos for you to give you an idea of the vast ecosystem that thrives within this wildlife refuge. Keep in mind, this is just small portion of the refuge. Click on photos to see larger images, too!
I’ll leave you with these photos until next time!