I photographed this Prothonotary Warbler at Minor’s Cove, which is at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.

The Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) is a species of bird in the Parulidae family. It is a brightly colored songbird native to North America, specifically the southeastern United States and Central America. They are named after protonotaries, clerks in the Catholic Church who wore golden-yellow robes, similar to the warbler’s plumage. They breed near swamps and wetlands and feed on insects and other small invertebrates.

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

The Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, located in Oklahoma, is home to a diverse array of wildlife and bird species. Among the many bird species found at the refuge, the Prothonotary Warbler is a particularly special and rare sight.

The Prothonotary Warbler is a small, brightly colored bird with a distinctive golden-yellow head and underbelly. It is also known for its cheerful and melodic song, which can often be heard echoing through the forest. These birds are migratory and typically breed in the eastern United States, making the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge one of the few places in the western United States where they can be seen.

One of the reasons why the Prothonotary Warbler is such a special bird is that it is an “obligate cavity nester.” This means that it is dependent on cavities in trees for its breeding and nesting, and therefore it is an important indicator of the health of our forested ecosystems. The Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge provides a critical habitat for these birds, with over 6,000 acres of mature bottomland hardwood forest, providing ideal nesting sites for Prothonotary Warblers.

Visitors to the refuge can see Prothonotary Warblers during the spring and early summer months when they are breeding and nesting. The best time to see them is early in the morning, when they are most active. 

In conclusion, the Prothonotary Warbler is a beautiful and rare bird species that can be found at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge. This special bird is a testament to the importance of preserving and protecting our forested ecosystems and provides an opportunity for visitors to see and appreciate the beauty of nature.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: RF100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: August 2, 2022 (06:41 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • Shutter speed: 1/500
  • ISO: 4000 (Auto)
  • White Balance: Auto
  • Metering Mode: Evaluative
  • Back-button Focus
  • Animal Eye Single Point Auto Focus
  • Exposure Compensation: 0
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

Related Posts:

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  2. Prothonotary Warbler In The Vines
  3. Prothonotary Warbler Building Nest
  4. Prothonotary Warbler With Spider