June 2023 Photo-observation of the Month

A rare Prothonotary Warbler contemplates his reflection, or perhaps the similarly yellow Vermont inspection sticker? ©

Congratulations to @ckhunt for winning the June 2023 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His photos of a rare Prothonotary Warbler perched on his truck’s windshield received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

The shining yellow body and head and slate-blue wings of the Prothonotary Warbler are more often seen in southern swamps than green mountains, but every now and then one of these gems finds its way to Vermont. Craig’s encounter with this Prothonotary Warbler marks only the second time this species has been reported in Vermont during the month of June! Named for their resemblance to the yellow robes of papal clerks (prothonotaries) of the Roman Catholic church, the Prothonotary Warbler also holds a fascinating place in US History. In a story involving Cold War espionage, amateur ornithology, and even a dash of Richard Nixon, the Prothonotary Warbler plays a major role! Like any iNaturalist observation, Craig’s photos raise more questions than they answer. Is this bird aggressively interacting with its reflection in the windshield? Is it perhaps instead investigating the similarly yellow VT state inspection sticker? Is this bird scouring Townshend, VT for a mate or a place to set up a nest? Or is it instead an unpaired male that wandered northward with the aid of a tailwind? Either way, many thanks to Craig for sharing his encounter with a spectacular rare warbler!

With 28,026 observations submitted by 2,076 observers in June, it was very competitive. Click on the image above to see and explore all of the amazing observations.

Posted on Ιούλιος 07, 2023 1132 ΜΜ by nsharp nsharp


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