Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hooded Warbler

On the morning of 1 May 2011, I banded a male Hooded Warbler in Northfield--my first ringing of this species in Minnesota.  Finding this bright yellow gem this cold, gray snow-showery day was indeed an incongruous sight! The species is common in the southeast United States. In Minnesota it is rare and local. 

Hooded Warblers are unusual among warblers because the males retain their bright plumage year-round. (They winter in Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America.)  These birds are gap specialists--Hooded Warblers nest in forest openings.  The species is, therefore, less threatened than other warblers to forest fragmentation.  However, if the fragments become too small, the warblers become vulnerable to cowbird parasitism (Chiver and Stutchbury 2011).

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