The Hooded Warbler (
) is an uncommon to abundant summer resident in the eastern quarter of Texas. There are some localized breeding populations in Bastrop, Colorado, and Matagorda counties which are the westernmost breeding locations in North America. During migration, the Hooded Warbler is common at coastal migrant traps and inland in the eastern third of Texas and rare in the western two-thirds of the state. During the winter, they are rare anywhere in the state, with the majority of records in the Rio Grande Valley or within 50 miles of the coast. The species is typically found in low, dense, shady understory often near water.
The Hooded Warbler is a Wood Warbler and comes from the Parulidae Family which consists of 54 species. It is a small song bird (5 inches in length) with a bright yellow underbelly, an olive green back, a black hood which wraps around to the throat, and a yellow forehead and face. The male is shown here and the female is similar except having a partial black hood and yellow throat, sometimes with a little black present. The juvenile has no hood present. In flight, the outer tail feathers flash white because the tail is relatively long and they flip and fan their tail while foraging. Their typical weight is 0.4 ounces (11 grams). The song vocalization is a clear ringing “tawee-tawee-tawee-tee-o”.
The Hooded Warbler is a relatively easy warbler to find in either the spring or fall migration and will frequently hop along the ground sometimes within inches of observers as they are fairly tolerant of humans. The oldest recorded Hooded Warbler was a male, and at least 8 years, 1 month old when he was recaptured during banding operations in Louisiana in 2004. Hooded Warblers are strongly territorial on their wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America. The males prefer mature forest while the females reside in scrubbier forest and flooded areas.