Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warblers are regular, but rare, migrants and summer residents in eastern Minnesota, but it is somewhat diffiuclt to follow Janssen'srange description. I have seen Hooded Warblers several times in Minnesota, and even banded one in my backyard. The bird in today’s post, found on Friday behind the visitor’s center at Afton State Park in Washington Co., is the first Minnesota bird that I have photographed in the wild.

The normal range for this species is from Southeastern Nebraska to the southern Great Lakes, south to the Gulf Coast. Hooded Warblers don’t seem to be declining in numbers—they are a “gap specialist,” preferring edge habitat and forest fragments. They are in trouble only where forests are being completely cut or in regions with large cowbird populations (Chiver et al. 2011). Each year, there seem to be more sightings of Hooded Warblers in Minnesota. I do not know if this increase is due to more of these warblers moving into the state or if there are just more birders looking for them.

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