Hoover Nature Preserve in Delaware County, which encompasses over 925 acres split into multiple areas at the north end of Hoover Reservoir, provides habitat for a variety of species. Of special note are the Prothonotary Warblers, and Charlie Bombaci has made it a special project to promote their well-being.
As of 2010, Charlie has put up 250 nest boxes in the preserve. Providing these nesting sites has produced impressive results. In 2010, the boxes themselves contained 60 breeding pairs of Prothonotary Warblers. In addition, another 106 pairs nested in natural cavities, for a total of 166 pairs of Prothonotary Warblers in the area in which nest boxes are placed. Keep in mind that Prothonotary Warblers typically build several false nests in addition to their real nests, so many of Charlie's nest boxes are used by the warblers as "decoys" containing these false nests. This makes the 60 real nests even more impressive. On top of that, some of the boxes also provided nesting sites for House and Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees, and other cavity-nesting birds.
Charlie also conducts breeding bird surveys of the area each spring and frequently shows birders around the preserve. And the Hoover Nature Preserve project has drawn the attention of researchers from Ontario who are working on Prothonotary Warbler programs of their own.
If you would like to see more details about the success of the Prothonotary Warbler program, we have a chart of nesting results. , we have a chart as well as some recent photos of Prothonotary Warblers and other birds that use the nest boxes.