How to Find Hooded Warbler

How to Find Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler Habitat (Where to look)

Hooded Warbler Breeding Habitat

  • found in both the interior and edges of mature, riparian (wet), deciduous forest with dense understory

    • understory plants commonly found in Hooded Warbler habitat: rhododendron, barberry, viburnum, mountain laurel, and spicebush

    • shrubby forest edge plants commonly found in Hooded Warbler habitat: blackberry thickets, hawthorn thickets, and non-native multiflora rose

  • may favor nesting on hillside terrain within mature forest

  • often found in shrubby openings in the forest canopy, such as tree-fall gaps

Hooded Warbler Migratory Habitat

  • like most warblers - will be most visible over the spring/fall migration periods (May/June and September/October)

  • even during migration will favor dense forest understory and forest edge brush

Hooded Warbler Habitat: note the thick understory and stream

Hooded Warbler Habitat: note the thick understory and stream

Hooded Warbler are often found in tree fall gap areas within forest habitat - note shrubbery growing over fallen trees

Hooded Warbler are often found in tree fall gap areas within forest habitat - note shrubbery growing over fallen trees

Hooded Warbler Habitat: tree fall gap - note dense shrubbery in background

Hooded Warbler Habitat: tree fall gap - note dense shrubbery in background

Hooded Warbler flashing white tail feathers on Barberry Plant

Hooded Warbler flashing white tail feathers on Barberry Plant

Hooded Warbler Behavior (What to look for)

  • frequently twitches tail and exposes white outer tail feathers

  • forages at eye level or lower - rarely high in tree - in fact, check understory/shrubbery before trees

  • males do move into trees to sing

  • shy, skulking bird - often seen only partially - view is usually obstructed by dense understory

  • moves quickly from shrub to shrub - always on the move

  • males may return to same breeding grounds year after year

  • spends more time foraging on the ground than most warblers - often inspecting leaf litter

Hooded Warbler are often observed partially hidden and relatively low in thick understory

Hooded Warbler are often observed partially hidden and relatively low in thick understory

Hooded Warbler quickly move from understory location to understory location

Hooded Warbler quickly move from understory location to understory location

Notes from Anonymous Birders

“larger than most warblers”

“usually have to go within forest to find one”

“definitely check gaps within the forest near a water source”

“a bird of the shadows”

Indicator Species

Ovenbird, Veery, Wood Thrush, Kentucky Warbler

Good Luck !

Hooded Warlber Picture