Return to Main Page   Dakota Birder Blog    

Hooded Warbler

Setophaga citrina

Length: 5.25 inches Wingspan: 8 inches Seasonality: Migrant
ID Keys: (Male): Black hood around yellow face, bright yellow underparts, olive-green upperparts.
(Female): Olive-green upperparts, yellow face and underparts, crown usually olive-green but sometimes black with extending thin black "necklace" (a "shadow" of the hood).  

Hooded Warbler - Setophaga citrina Hooded Warblers are normally found deep in the forest undergrowth of the eastern United States, although they will often call attention to themselves by fanning their tails and exposing the white outer tail feather spots.  While both sexes are most often found low in the undergrowth, males will sometimes perch in higher exposed spots to sing during the summer breeding season.

Habitat: During the summer breeding season, they are found in the undergrowth of deciduous and mixed forests, usually towards the interior of the forest.  Also found in deciduous and mixed forests during the winter, as well as second-growth forests and other disturbed areas.

Diet: Primarily feeds on insects and spiders.   

Behavior: Usually forages low in the vegetation or on the ground, searching for insects on foliage and branches.  They will also occasionally take flying insects from midair. 

Breeding Map: Non-breeder in South Dakota

Song: Strong clear notes, emphasized at the end...tawee tawee taweeTEEoh.  Click to hear the Hooded Warbler's song.  Also, click for the Hooded Warbler's call. 

Migration: Summers throughout much of the eastern United States south of the Great Lakes and New England.  Winters in southern Mexico and Central America.

Interactive eBird Map: Click to access an interactive eBird map of Hooded Warbler sightings

Similar Species: Wilson's Warbler, Yellow Warbler

Conservation Status: Numbers appear to be stable.  They are, however, very frequent hosts to Cowbird parasitism, and may become an even more frequent victim as habitats become more fragmented and they are subject to more Cowbird exposure.

Further Information: 1) Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Hooded Warbler

2) WhatBird - Hooded Warbler

3) Audubon Guide - Hooded Warbler

Photo Information: October 2002 -- Aberdeen -- Dan Tallman.


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Hooded Warbler - Range map
South Dakota Status: Casual Spring migrant, accidental Fall migrant in the eastern part of the states.  Accidental in the western part.

Additional Hooded Warbler Photos (coming soon!!)