(noun) A specific type of field mark on a bird's plumage that looks like a hood over the bird's head. Typically, the crown, forehead, nape, face, chin and throat are all part of the hood and will all have the same color. Dark hoods are the most common, and all hoods contrast with the surrounding plumage on the back and breast, though not always both. For some birds, the hood may not be complete or other markings may be present, but to be considered a hood the coordinating colored parts will be prominent.
Many birds with plumage hoods have the term "hooded" in their common name, but that is not a conclusive description for whether or not a bird has an actual hood. In some cases, the term "hooded" as part of a bird's name may also refer to an extensive crest or other distinct head markings.
To identify a bird based on its hood, note the color, shape and extent of the hood, especially how far down on the nape and breast the hood extends. Also note if there are any other markings on the hood, and note how the color of the eyes compares to the hood itself.
Photo – Hooded Siskin © Dario Sanches