A medium-sized (5 ½ inches) wood warbler, the male Hooded Warbler is most easily identified by its olive-green back, yellow breast and face, and black head and throat connected by solid black neck stripes. Female Hooded Warblers are similar to males, but lack much of the black on the head and throat. The male Hooded Warbler may be distinguished from the similarly-colored Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla) by that species’ yellow throat, whereas the female Hooded Warbler may be distinguished from the female Wilson’s Warbler by that species’ lighter head and pale yellow eye-stripes. The Hooded Warbler breeds across much of the eastern United States and extreme southern Canada. Within that range, this species is mostly or completely absent from the southern half of Florida, New England, and parts of the upper Midwest. In winter, Hooded Warblers may be found in the West Indies, southern Mexico, and the Caribbean coast of Central America. Hooded Warblers breed in deciduous forest habitats, preferring woodland with small openings and shrubby edge habitats to dense forest. In winter, this species may be found in undergrowth and edge habitats in tropical forest as well as in overgrown fields. Hooded Warblers primarily eat small invertebrates, including insects and spiders. In appropriate habitat, Hooded Warblers may be observed foraging for insects on leaves, twigs, and branches on the ground or in the undergrowth. Birdwatchers may also listen for this species’ song, a whistled “chi chi chi chi chi chet chet. ” Hooded Warblers are primarily active during the day, but, like many migratory songbirds, this species migrates at night.
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