Prothonotary Warbler Sighting at Sequoyah Refuge

I’ve had an exciting year photographing the beautiful Prothonotary Warbler at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. As I wrote about a few weeks ago, one of these brilliant golden-yellow birds photo bombed me while I was trying to capture something else (Prothonotary Warbler Photobomb at Sequoyah Refuge). The Prothonotary Warbler loves to stay hidden in the thick brush at Sequoyah, making it tricky to get clean photos. However, I was lucky enough to spot one perched on an open branch, giving me the perfect opportunity.

Prothonotary Warbler At Oklahoma Wildlife Refuge
Prothonotary Warbler At Oklahoma Wildlife Refuge

I was sitting in my pickup truck with my camera ready when I noticed some movement in the trees ahead. Suddenly a dazzling Prothonotary Warbler landed on a branch just 20 feet away. Its bright yellow head and body practically glowed against the green leaves behind it. I slowly got my camera ready, and started snapping photos before it could fly away. I’m thrilled to have captured such incredible views of this warbler species known for staying hidden.

Photographing smaller bird species like the Prothonotary and Painted Buntings in open spaces is always a challenge at Sequoyah. They love to stick to the dense thickets. But this past few months proves that patience and persistence pays off for a wildlife photographer. I can’t wait to go back and try to spot more elusive warblers and buntings out in the open!

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 22, 2023 (06:35A. M.)
  • Program Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • Shutter speed: 1/500
  • ISO: 12800 (Auto)
  • Exp. Comp.: +1.0
  • Focal Length: 500 mm