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 2013, Charlie has put up 250 nest boxes in the preserve. Providing these nesting sites has produced impressive results. In 2013, the boxes themselves contained 68 breeding pairs of Prothonotary Warblers. In addition, another 109 pairs nested in natural cavities for a total of 177 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 68 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.
Columbus Audubon is proud to support the Hoover NP Prothonotary project; if you would like to contribute, you can make a donation to CA to support the project. For more information, or to learn how you can help, contact Charlie Bombaci directly.