Hooded Warbler

The Hooded Warbler of the Warbler family is considered the New World Warbler. Their breeding grounds include the eastern part of North America and part through the United States’ easter side.

About Hooded Warblers

Some of them spill over to the south side of Canada. Migratory nature, Central America, and the West Indies might get a visit from them during winter. Western Europe sees the rarest of Hooded Warblers.

For Hooded Warblers, the one thing that makes them stand out from other species of the same family would be the bright yellow on the face of breeding males. The yellow combined with the shades of olive the plumage takes and the white splash on the end of tail feathers is what makes Hooded Warbler stand out and easily identifiable to a birdwatcher.

Today, we will show you the things you need to know about Hooded Warbler to identify them. It includes:

  • Color Pattern, Identification techniques, and songs of Hooded Warblers
  • The size, behavior, and habitat
  • Their range, migration, and nesting

Hooded Warbler Color Pattern

Hooded Warblers are mostly lemon yellow colored creatures with some black and white in the mix. The color pattern on their plumage isn’t striking, but they do have a distinguished look to them that helps differentiate them effortlessly from the other Warbler family.

For an adult male, their face is a deep shade of yellow. However, the throat and wood are black. Their stomach area is lemon yellow, while their upper body has an olive tint to it.

Their wings also have a bit of black and olive to them. The tails are the same color as the wings, with the tip having a white glow. They might fan their tail to show off this feature.

Female and Immature Hooded Warblers have far more yellow in them, with black and white peeking out once in a while. Their face is yellow, while the throat, the crown, and the entire back are yellow.

The stomach is the same olive shade. The wings have bits of black and olive, with the black strips growing darker at the tips.

The tail feather is also black and olive with white on the underside. When fanned, the Hooded Warblers get the chance to flash the white properly.

Description And Identification

Identifying a Hooded Warbler is easy if you are specifically looking for them. The male Hooded Warbler especially gives themselves away at first glance. Their 4-5 notes with a rising pitch with their bright yellow faces adorned by a black crown and black color bills makes them impossible to ignore.

Their plumage is a pretty shade of olive. However, if you are still concerned whether you have mistaken another bird for a Hooded Warbler, you can put the worry away by looking at their tail feathers and if it has a shade of white on them.

The immature Hooded Warblers and female warblers share the same colors. It is mostly olive plumage marred by a little of the black. These colors look great in pictures.

If you want to separate the female warblers from the immature ones, you have to listen to their call. The call of the female Hooded Warbler is the same as the call of the male Hooded Warbler.

Hooded Warbler Song

The singing of a Hooded Warbler has a particular ringing and forceful quality to them. It has been noted that only male Hooded Warblers participate in singing. However, there was one instance where a female Hooded Warbler was heard practicing a tune in Pennsylvania.

The primary song is a 4-5 note by the male Hooded Warbler. It’s an intelligible “weeta weeta” sound. The song is even interpreted as someone saying Richie rich is here. There is also a secondary song by the male warbler, though the notes are far more cluttered and hard to hear and understand.

The call of both female and male Hooded warblers is quite loud. The sound is metallic and is a warning chip. This call usually comes out when they are in wintering ground or on the breeding ground. Surprisingly, it is the female Hooded Warbler that tends to let out these warning calls.

Hooded Warbler Size

Hooded Warblers have the good fortune of bragging about possessing a well-proportioned body. They are small, but their heads, bodies, and tails are all distributed in the right proportions. Their bill is straight and sharp and the slightest bit on the thick side.

Compared to a considerable proportion of other Warblers, their necks are thick, and they have a heavy body. Their head is small but seems to suit their body very well. To get a good idea of how small or big they are, one can say Hooded Warbler is small compared to a Red-eyed Vireo but comes up bigger than Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Overall, they seem to be 13 cm in length, both male and female Hooded Warbler. Their wingspan can be about 17.5 cm, while their weight is usually 9 to 12g.

Hooded Warbler Behavior

Hooded Warblers are found mainly in the understory of dense vegetation. They like to hop between the shrubs and flash the white part of their tail feathers. They like hiding in the shrubs and staying out from view. Then, when they see a prey- mostly an insect- they jump up and swipe their food in one go.

Instead of flying, Hooded Warblers seem to prefer fluttering across the ground. At most, you might find them on the lower tree trunks while they are in the middle of a meal. Often, they grab insects from the leaves of a shrub that are hanging low.

If these warblers see a flying insect that they need to catch, they might get persuaded to take flight themselves and hunt them in the understory. When trying to feed their youngins, male Hooded Warbler might venture more upward than female Hooded ones.

During winter, both female and male Hooded Warbler carve out a well-defined territory under which they forage food. They give out their calls from time to time to ward off potential rivals. If other intruding warblers try to enter the grounds, they won’t hesitate to attack them.

What Hooded Warbler Eat

Hooded Warblers, like most warblers, seem to reserve all their love for insects. Arthropods, in general, seem to be loved by warblers, but insects more so.

The variety of insects include caterpillars, beetles, flies, moths, and even grasshoppers. The good old spiders don’t seem to get a reprise either.

Where Hooded Warbler Live And Habitat

Hooded Warbler appears to thrive in the deciduous forest. They like dense vegetation with understories where they can hide and rest. They might visit forests with less vegetation as long as the shrubs’ understory is present in their surroundings.

They mainly need the shrubs to look for their prey and shield them from view. It gives them the advantage to attack their prey suddenly.

Range and Migration

Hooded Warblers are migrants who cover an exceptionally long range. It is a surprise considering they don’t seem to like flying at all when they are foraging. They begin their spring migration at night, reaching the Gulf of Mexico. They come back in the fall.

Their breeding grounds consist of the entire eastern part of North America and across the US’s eastern states. They also breed in Canada, mostly the southernmost range, or even more specifically, Ontario.

Western Europe sees some of these Hooded Warblers, but it is mostly a rare occurrence. The thing to note about their breeding range is that it has to be either hardwoods or swamps.

On the other hand, for migration, they prefer deciduous forests. They also like mixed eastern forests for the most part. Due to global climate change, it is estimated that Hooded Warblers have lost about 29 percent of their range.

Hooded Warbler Lifecycle

Usually, Hooded Warbler lays about four eggs. The eggs have a creamy white color with brown at the end sides. Typically, only the female Hooded Warbler takes part in the incubation process. It can take about 12 days.

Once hatched, both the parents feed the youngins. It only takes the young 8 to 9 days before they are considered old enough to leave their home behind. In about 2 to 3 days after leaving, the young Hooded Warblers can fly.

The parents divide the fledglings between them, each taking part in caring about half of the brood. It can take about five weeks. In general, a Hooded Warbler may produce two broods a year.


One fun thing about Hooded Warblers is that male warbler seems to become attached to the place he has nested in for his previous brood that year. Yet, female warblers seem to choose a completely different ground to make their nest. Usually, it is the female warblers whose decision they defer to.

The female Hooded warblers’ favorite place to create their nest seems to be thick forests or along the edges, mainly on the deciduous shrubs. Usually, they uphold their nest 1′ to 4′ up from the ground. The nest has a shape like a cup. It comprises bark, grass, dead leaves, hair, and spiderwebs.

The nests have no lining, as there is no need to do so. It is usually the female Hooded Warbler that takes care of the creation of the nest. Once they have nested and laid their first brood, the egg usually comes out in a batch of 4.

The female Hooded Warbler then stays about 12 days incubating it until they finally hatch. Once the youngins are out, it takes about seven days before they are ready to leave the nest. Once they are ready to leave the nest, it also becomes time for the parents to leave.

Anatomy of a Hooded Warbler

A Hooded Warbler is a small bird. They are excessively tiny and come up to 13 cm at most. This size is the same for both male and female Hooded Warbler. Just like most of the warbler species, they are naturally small in size and shape.

The Hooded Warbler, especially so, has a little head, small and almost toned body type with slightly long wings and tails. Their bill is sharp, straight with no curve to it. One can also describe it as a little on the thick side.

Their eyes are black in color, beady in nature, and almost uncomfortable to look at. Overall, Hooded Warblers present as a cute bird, though they are not easy to see.

Final Thoughts

If you want to see or show your kids or even show your friends and sibling’s kids the Hooded Warbler, you might have to venture deep into deciduous forests.

If you are lucky enough, you might find these small birds at the edge of the forests, but that is a rare occurrence. The more you go deep into the forests, the better are your chances of seeing a Hooded Warbler.

Thankfully, they make nests quite close to the grounds, where the deciduous shrubs are, so it is easier to spot the Hooded Warblers than warblers who like making nests high up in the ground. We recommend bringing your binoculars with you since you want to see the Hooded warblers without disturbing them in their shrub nest.

They tend to make their nests hidden from view in the shrubs, so it is not easy to see them even if you have eyes peeled to the ground. You have to stay alert for the splash of yellow in between the green scenery.

Hooded Warblers also fall vulnerable from the perspective of conservation. It is because cowbirds seem to prey on them. The area where they are most under danger is the forest area, where the place is in small patches.

For wintering, they have a weakness towards the underground tropical areas, which again sends them to a precarious situation. For the most part, though, Hooded Warblers seem to live a fulfilling life.

Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes

At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.

Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Hooded Warblers

The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing Hooded Warblers are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.

Hooded Warbler T-shirts

If you love the Hooded Warbler you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.

Hooded Warbler Iron On Patches

Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron on patches. Our bird watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen an identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.

The Hooded Warbler is a great iron on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.

Hooded Warbler Stickers

Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Hooded Warbler. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.

Bird Feeders For Hooded Warbler

There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.

Best Bird Houses for Hooded Warbler

There are many types of bird houses. Building a bird house is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 bird houses have become our favorites. Getting a bird house for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these bird houses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.

Hooded Warbler Activities for Kids

We thought a fun perler bead pattern would be fun for kids. Please download and print with 100% scale to fit perfectly with perler bead patterns.

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