Warblers of the Deep Forest

Warblers such as Hooded and Kentucky are species that love the deep woods.

Rob Ripma

Warblers are some of my favorite birds, and it’s always exciting when the warblers that breed in the deep forests of southern Indiana return to the state. I was lucky to have the opportunity to go birding in that area often while I was in college at Indiana University, and I always like to make a return trip each spring to enjoy these warblers again. One of my favorite warblers (and actually one of my favorite birds overall) is the Hooded Warbler. This is a species that specializes in living in the deep forests and is an extremely common breeder within the right habitat in southern Indiana.

Hooded Warblers are one of my favorite species and it's always exciting when they arrive back in Indiana.

Hooded Warblers are one of my favorite species and it’s always exciting when they arrive back in Indiana.

In addition to the Hooded Warblers, there are several other species that add a little more color and diversity to the forests of southern Indiana. Kentucky Warblers are similar in color to the Hooded Warblers and are also very common in the forest. Worm-eating Warblers are drab brown birds that skulk along the forest floor, and Cerulean Warblers add a splash of blue to the woods.

This Cerulean Warbler was being banded along the Gulf Coast. Photo by Eric Ripma

This Cerulean Warbler was banded recently along the US Gulf Coast. Photo by Eric Ripma

While I’ve talked a lot about these warblers occurring in the forests of southern Indiana, there are many places throughout the eastern United States that you can also find all of them. Have you seen any of these warblers yet this year?  If so, where were they?

  1. John Johnson says

    Great article, Rob. I too am anxiously awaiting the arrival of these tiny jewels of the trees. I live in Kokomo, IN and have viewed many deep forest warblers in the Hoosier Natl Forest through the years. Our leaves have just begun to open up here so any morning now I’m expecting my first warbler of 2014. ( Still looking for my first “Hoodie”.)

    • Rob RipmaRob Ripma says

      Thanks, John! Hoosier Natl Forest is a great place! There are a lot of Hoodies in that area so I’m sure you’ll come across one. I was out this morning in Indianapolis and several species are back in the area!

  2. Beth says

    I have never seen any warblers in all my life. Where do I have to go to try and see them? Are they only a fly through in the spring?

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