One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A North American warbler, the male of which has a golden-yellow head, breast, and underparts.
Protonotaria citrea, subfamily Parulinae, family Emberizidae
- ‘One prothonotary warbler does not make a May Day, but Shakespeare has bare ruined choirs full of them.’
- ‘The Goat Trees, aptly festooned with Spanish moss, provided protective cover for shimmering gold prothonotary warblers.’
- ‘The Connecticut Rare Bird Alert, a recorded telephone announcement, sometimes brings news of a prothonotary warbler or a Kentucky in the vicinity.’
- ‘Then we turn into a driveway-width water-lane, drifting along under arching tupelos and willows in new leaf, startled only by the emphatic song of prothonotary warblers.’
Late 18th century: named with reference to the saffron color of the robes worn by clerks to the Pope (see Protonotary Apostolic).
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