How to Identify a Hooded Warbler
Learn what a hooded warbler looks like and where to spot one. Plus find out what hooded warblers eat and learn about their nesting habits.
What Does a Hooded Warbler Look Like?
Courtesy Teresa McClung
To identify a hooded warbler, look for a small yellow bird. The male’s black hood around a yellow face helps with ID. A dark eye stands out. The bird’s wings are noticeably a darker olive color than its sunny yellow belly. Watch for white tail feathers.
Meet yellow warblers: the sunniest spring birds.
Habitat and Nesting Habits
Unlike many warblers, this species forages, and even nests, close to the ground. You’re more likely to find one in their ideal habitat—shady undergrowth in the southeast and northeast during summer breeding season. Look for hooded warblers in the understory of rich, moist woods, and on the edges of swamps.
What Do Hooded Warblers Eat?
Hooded warblers breed in summer across the southeastern United States. They then fly south across the Gulf of Mexico to spend winter in warm tropical areas.
Look for a chestnut sided warbler during spring migration.
Hooded Warbler Hotspot
Any one of Indiana Dunes National Park’s hiking trails through prairie, savanna, beach and dune habitats will net plenty of good bird sightings, but the two best trails for birders are Trails 2 and 10. Take Trail 2 and enjoy a mile-long boardwalk where you can spot nesting woodland birds like the hooded warbler, veery and red-shouldered hawk.