The S.C. Wildlife Federation has announced the completion of 80 prothonotary warbler nest box installations in the Catawba-Wateree area as part of its Project Prothonotary.
This project was developed by SCWF and sponsored by Duke Energy’s Catawba-Wateree Habitat Enhancement Program.
Prothonotary warblers are migratory birds that fly thousands of miles from their wintering grounds in South America to their breeding grounds in the eastern regions of North America.
As habitat specialists, the warblers require the presence of water and large trees with old nest cavities to raise their young. This makes them particularly vulnerable, but also provides an opportunity to help this imperiled bird.
Their population has declined by 42% in the last 50 years mainly due to loss of this specific type of habitat, but SCWF and communities in South Carolina are coming together to create homes for these birds that will help increase their numbers.
SCWF has worked with state park rangers, S.C. Department of Natural Resources biologists, property owners, and volunteers to determine suitable habitat and install nest boxes that will be easily accessible for monitoring and maintenance.
The project focused on the Catawba-Wateree area of South Carolina and includes partners such as Andrew Jackson State Park, Landsford Canal State Park, Comporium and the Sun City Carolina Lakes community.
“Sun City Carolina Lakes has been a certified Wildlife Habitat Community since 2021 and we boast a thriving birding community,” said Dianne Abel, Sun City’s Community Wildlife Habitat coordinator. “We welcome the citizen science opportunity to participate in this important conservation project.”
With nest box installations completed, SCWF staff will train box host sites and volunteers in nest monitoring before the birds arrive to nest in the spring. This will engage the public in conservation actions and allow community members to connect with this imperiled bird species.
Project Prothonotary will enhance critical breeding habitat for prothonotary warblers and will teach homeowners, businesses and communities how they can make a positive impact for wildlife.
For more information on Project Prothonotary or Community Wildlife Habitats, contact Savannah Jordan, SCWF habitat education manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.