Welcome back, nature enthusiasts! Today, I have an exciting wildlife encounter to share with you from my recent photography expedition at Reeve’s Slough, nestled within the breathtaking Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. As luck would have it, my lens captured the stunning Prothonotary Warbler amidst the American Lotus plant. Join me as I recount the story behind this image and explore the remarkable features of both the bird and its botanical perch.

Prothonotary Warbler On An American Lotus Plant

Prothonotary Warbler On An American Lotus Plant

The American Lotus at Reeve’s Slough:
Over the past few blog posts, I have enthusiastically documented the splendor of the American Lotus (Nelumbo lutea) at Reeve’s Slough. These aquatic plants, adorned with vibrant flowers and broad, circular leaves, create a picturesque landscape against the tranquil waters. The lotus plants form an important habitat for various bird species, offering food, shelter, and a captivating backdrop for photography.

Encountering the Prothonotary Warbler:
As I ventured out to the fishing pier, my keen eyes spotted a flash of brilliant yellow flitting around the pier. It was the Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea), a small songbird renowned for its striking plumage. With a golden-yellow body, the Prothonotary Warbler adds a vibrant touch to its surroundings, making it a favorite subject for wildlife photographers like myself.

Photographing the Prothonotary Warbler:
Carefully positioning myself and adjusting my camera settings, I seized the opportunity to capture this beautiful avian visitor. The Prothonotary Warbler hopped around the fishing pier, providing me with several chances to capture its vibrant presence. However, the real magic happened when it took flight and landed on one of the American Lotus plant bulbs.

Perched on the American Lotus:
The Prothonotary Warbler made a beautiful decision to perch on the stem of an American Lotus plant, creating a stunning sight. The bright feathers of the bird stood out beautifully against the lotus, making a striking difference. It felt like a work of art created by nature, and I was lucky to see it and capture it forever with my camera.

A Closer Look at the Prothonotary Warbler:
The Prothonotary Warbler, also known as the “Golden Swamp Warbler” or “Golden Prothonotary,” is a neotropical migratory songbird. Its vibrant yellow plumage and dark, beady eyes are complemented by a long, slightly down-curved bill. Males and females share a similar appearance, making it challenging to differentiate between the two based on looks alone.

These delightful warblers are commonly found in swampy bottom-land forests, wetlands, and along slow-moving streams throughout the southeastern United States. They construct their nests in tree cavities, often near water, using various plant materials and lining them with moss and fine grasses.

Their melodious songs, resembling a series of sweet and high-pitched whistles, echo through the lush foliage as they forage for insects, spiders, and small crustaceans. Despite their small size, Prothonotary Warblers embark on long migrations, spending their breeding season in the eastern United States and their winters in Central and South America.

Witnessing the Prothonotary Warbler perched on the American Lotus at Reeve’s Slough was truly a remarkable experience. This encounter reminds us of the interconnectedness of flora and fauna and the inherent beauty found in nature. I hope this blog post has provided you with a glimpse into the captivating world of wildlife photography and the wonders that await us in the great outdoors.

Stay tuned for more adventures and encounters as we continue to explore the fascinating world of wildlife through the lens. Until then, keep your eyes open and your camera ready for the next incredible shot. Happy exploring!

Steve Creek
Wildlife Photographer

Equipment Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM

Technical Details:

  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: July 10, 2023 (07:20 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • Shutter speed: 1/1250
  • ISO: 6400 (Auto)
  • Exp. Comp.: +0.7
  • Focal Length: 500 mm