PROW Project at Mandalay

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!  


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  1. I love the photos. I wouldn’t want to be there after dark. I’ll bet the skeeters would eat a person up! I can imagine the sounds coming from there. Mysterious for sure!

    1. I’m not sure I’d want to be there after dark, either, Steffi! Not that brave . . . or crazy!! Amazingly, the mosquitoes weren’t there yet, now that you mention it.

  2. Very beautiful. Have you ever eaten the fiddlehead ferns? I hear they are a delicacy. And the spiderwort, aka widows tears, it comes in several variety of colors and I made the mistake of pulling some up on the side of the road one year. It has pretty much taken over one flower bed and the side yard. You can’t kill the darn stuff and it grows prolifically so it looks like I haven’t mowed in a couple of weeks.

    My little house finch decided to build someplace else I guess. It hasn’t been back this week.

    1. Cam, I didn’t know that spiderwort came in different colors! I’ve only ever seen the violet color down here. I’m sorry about the house finch. Such lovely birds, well, the males anyway! I wonder why he left?

      1. It is beautiful. White, deep blue, light blue, lavender, purple, pink, etc. Take a look at it by typing in images of spider wort.

  3. I’m so upset with my crawfish delivery today. If we order by Tuesday evening, they deliver on Saturday morning. With your advice, they would have been fine. But, they called this morning and asked “aren’t you coming after your crawfish?”. I told them yes, as I stated when I ordered them, I would pick them up this afternoon since they were in the stores cooler. I got there and they put the box in my cart and I got sick at the smell. They were delivered thursday!! The box shows packed wednesday!! I called the manager, showed them to him while he held his nose and he called the seafood dept. Some were moving so they guaranted me a money refund on all lost, just take them back. They suggested I order for another weekend but, we have about 20 or more family coming here from out of town and it’s too late to reschedule. Cross your fingers for me. You and yours have a special Easter.

    1. OH NO! This is just awful, Cam. Who in the world is going to pull out all those dead ones and save them to return. That’s ridiculous. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I guess maybe not use them again, unless they offer to make this right monetarily. I hope it turned out well in spite of the delay. Have a blessed day!

      1. I spent over an hour picking out live ones. Out of thirty lbs of crawfish, 10 lbs (we weighed them) were lost. WalMart was open so, we filled in with 3 lbs of smoked sausages, 5 lbs of shrimp and 24 hamburger patties. We had 3 tables filled with food! It turned into an Easter egg hunt/family reunion. 23 family members. It was fun and we were all totally exhausted by 5 pm. We started gathering at 11:30. I hope everyone who reads your blog had a fantastic time too with no snags.

        1. So, one third of the crawfish were dead. That’s horrible, Cam. I hope they make it right, but you did a great thing improvising with other additional and sundry food! I’m sure nobody left hungry. Glad y’all had a good time. All’s well that ends well. Beautiful day on the water today. Back at it again tomorrow.