Olive-brown back and upper tail; yellow under parts; under side of tail white. Edges of the outer tail feathers are dark, and the inner parts of the outer feathers are white. The male has a black hood that covers the top, sides, and underneath the head. Yellow shows only around the eyes and in a small area above the bill. Some females have varying amounts of a black hood, and others show no black at all. Usually, on females the black only covers the top of the head and starts down the sides of the neck. 13 cm (5.25 in) in length. The song is a variant of the phrase tawee tawee tawee tee-o.
The breeding season begins in late April, peaks in May, and extends to late June. Breeding habitat is primarily deciduous forest with a dense understory. The nest is usually located in a shrub, sapling, or vine tangle. The female builds a cup-shaped nest out of bark, plant material, and bark strips with a outer layer of dead leaves. The female lays 3-5 (usually 3-4) eggs that she incubates for approximately 12 days. The young are altricial and fledge approximately 8-9 days after hatching. Both adults care for the young while they are in the nest. After fledging adults usually divide the brood, each caring for some of the fledglings.
This species frequents upland or bottomland habitats that have a dense understory layer. The diet of the Hooded Warbler consists entirely of insects. This species forages by gathering insects off vegetation or capturing insects while in flight. This species is a long distance migrant.
During the breeding season, the Hooded Warbler occurs in appropriate habitat throughout most of the eastern United States, except in the alluvial valley of the Mississippi River, where it is rare. This species winters in southern and eastern Mexico south through Central America. It can be seen throughout Georgia during migration.
This species is fairly common and is not listed as Threatened or Endangered in any part of its southeastern range.
The most similar species is the Kentucky Warbler. The Kentucky Warbler is the same size, and has a black crown, black that runs from the top of the head down the side of the neck, a black eye stripe, and a yellow throat. The song of the Kentucky Warbler sounds like churry churry churry.