Can you name this handsome hooded bird?

August 11, 2014, 1 p.m.
hooded warbler

Photo: Bill Bouton/MNN Flickr Group

Hooded Warbler, Setophaga citrina

This gorgeous bird is a male hooded warbler, easily identified by the black hood that surrounds his face. These beautiful birds are insect eaters, and are wonderful to have around for pest control. However, another pest takes advantage of them: the brown-headed cowbird. The brown-headed cowbird practices brood parasitism, laying its eggs in the nests of other birds and leaving the (often much smaller) parents to care for their own chicks. When this happens, sometimes the foster parents put so many resources into the rapidly growing cowbird chick that their own chicks suffer and don't make it to fledging age. Luckily for the hooded warbler, their population numbers are doing well in woodlands that are protected or being restored.

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Jaymi Heimbuch is a writer and photographer at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.