New York Natural Heritage Program
Prothonotary Warbler
Protonotaria citrea (Boddaert, 1783)
Birds

Habitat [-]
In New York, the Prothonotary Warbler breeding habitat is wooded areas near water. Preferred habitat includes flooded bottomland hardwood forests, cypress swamps, and along large lakes and rivers (McGowan and Corwin 2008). Nests are found in cavities of snags or living trees that are typically two to eight feet above the water (NatureServe 2006). They will also raise young in nest boxes (NatureServe 2006).

Associated Ecological Communities [-]
  • Coastal plain Atlantic white cedar swamp*
    A swamp that occurs on organic soils along streams and in poorly drained depressions of the coastal plain. Atlantic white cedar makes up over 50% of the canopy cover. In mixed stands in New York, red maple is the codominant tree.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Floodplain forest*
    A hardwood forest that occurs on mineral soils on low terraces of river floodplains and river deltas. These sites are characterized by their flood regime; low areas are annually flooded in spring, and high areas are flooded irregularly.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Hemlock-hardwood swamp*
    A swamp that occurs on mineral soils and deep muck in depressions which receive groundwater discharge. These swamps usually have a fairly closed canopy (70 to 90% cover), sparse shrub layer, and low species diversity. The tree canopy is typically dominated by eastern hemlock and co-dominated by yellow birch and red maple.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Inland Atlantic white cedar swamp*
    A swamp that occurs on organic soils (usually peat) in poorly drained depressions and along pond edges in southeastern New York and northern New Jersey. The characteristic tree is Atlantic white cedar. In mixed stands the codominants are typically red maple, black gum, and eastern hemlock.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Red maple-blackgum swamp
    A maritime, coastal, or inland hardwood swamp that occurs in poorly drained depressions, sometimes in a narrow band between a stream and upland. Red maple and blackgum are often codominant or blackgum may be the dominant tree. Pitch pine may occur on drier hummock islands in pine barrens settings.
  • Red maple-hardwood swamp*
    A hardwood swamp that occurs in poorly drained depressions, usually on inorganic soils. Red maple is usually the most abundant canopy tree, but it can also be codominant with white, green, or black ash; white or slippery elm; yellow birch; and swamp white oak.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Red maple-sweetgum swamp*
    A hardwood swamp that occurs on somewhat poorly drained seasonally wet flats, usually on somewhat acidic soils. Red maple-sweetgum swamps often occur as a mosaic with upland forest communities. Sweetgum is often the dominant tree or may be codominant with red maple. Other codominant trees include pin oak and blackgum.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Rich mesophytic forest*
    A hardwood or mixed forest that resembles the mixed mesophytic forests of the Allegheny Plateau south of New York but is less diverse. It occurs on rich, fine-textured, well-drained soils that are favorable for the dominance of a wide variety of tree species. A canopy with a relatively large number of codominant trees characterizes this forest. Canopy codominants include five or more of the following species: red oak, red maple, white ash, American beech, sugar maple, black cherry, cucumber tree, and black birch.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Silver maple-ash swamp
    A hardwood basin swamp that typically occurs in poorly-drained depressions or along the borders of large lakes, and less frequently in poorly drained soils along rivers. These sites are characterized by uniformly wet conditions with minimal seasonal fluctuations in water levels. The dominant trees are usually silver maple and green ash.