Species At Risk

Hooded Warbler

(Wilsonia citrina)

Special Concern

Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler occurrences map


The Hooded Warbler is a small (about 13-centimetre-long) songbird with an olive back and a bright yellow face. Males can easily be distinguished from other warblers by their black hood and throat, and bright yellow mask. Females have a small amount of black on the top and sides of their head. They generally mature in one year and can live as long as five or six years.

The song of the Hooded Warbler is a loud musical whistled “ta-wit ta-wit ta-wit tee-yo.”

Action we are taking:


In North America, the Hooded Warbler is found mainly in the eastern United States with its range extending into Canada only in southern Ontario. The Hooded Warbler was once considered a rare breeder in Ontario, but has recently increased in number and expanded its range. During the fall, it migrates south along the Caribbean to its wintering grounds in Central America.


Nesting in mature hardwood forests, Hooded Warblers can be found in small clearings with low, shrubby vegetation. Hooded Warblers are considered area-sensitive, meaning they require large areas of forest.


The main threat to the species is the loss and fragmentation of forest habitat. In southwestern Ontario, where the landscape is currently dominated by agriculture and urban development, much of the remaining forest is highly fragmented and not suitable for Hooded Warblers, who avoid small forest patches.


The Hooded Warbler is a special concern species under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act.

What You Can Do to Help the Hooded Warbler

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the Hooded Warbler. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Bird Studies Canada is working to advance the understanding, appreciation and conservation of wild birds and their habitat in Ontario and elsewhere. For more information on how you can help, visit: www.bsc-eoc.org.
  • As with all wildlife, don’t disturb or harass the birds or nesting sites. Be respectful and observe from a distance.
  • As with many other rare plants and animals, the Hooded Warbler is at risk due to the loss of forested areas. You can help by protecting any local forests and surrounding natural vegetation on your property.
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. If you find Hooded Warblers on your property, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.
  • The Carolinian forests of southern Ontario support an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife, including many species at risk. Carolinian Canada is working to help recover species at risk and their habitats. For more information, visit: www.carolinian.org/SpeciesHabitats.htm.

Did you know?

The family of the Hooded Warbler (Parulidae) is only found in the western hemisphere.

Did you know?

The record for the oldest Hooded Warbler is seven years, 11 months.

Did you know?

Eggs are only incubated for about 12 days and incubation is the sole responsibility of the female. Young leave the nest eight to 10 days after hatching, and fly away two or three days later, but both parents tend to the young for up to eight weeks after hatching.

Did you know?

Although Hooded Warblers appear to form monogamous pairs, recent DNA studies discovered that only about two thirds of females produce offspring that are fathered by their social mate. Many females produce offspring that are fathered by males occupying neighboring territories.

Did you know?

Hooded Warblers mainly eat ants, grasshoppers, locusts, caterpillars and beetles. They typically pick their prey from the foliage of tall trees and shrubs.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.