Apr 25 2011

Don’t Move!

Published by at 7:14 am under Bird Behavior


For days now we’ve been focused on birds who eat birds (peregrines, for instance) without thinking much about the lives of the birds who become dinner. 

Fortunately for them, small birds have several defense mechanisms for avoiding birds of prey.  To avoid a peregrine in the city, they stay low.  To avoid other hawks they say in thick cover.  When there’s no cover handy they freeze in position, hoping the predator won’t notice them.

Here’s a pair of downy woodpeckers at Marcy Cunkelman’s house, frozen on her porch railing to avoid being seen by a passing hawk. 

Don’t move! 

The hawk didn’t see them.  It worked.

(photo by Marcy Cunkelman)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Don’t Move!”

  1. Donnaon 25 Apr 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Downies are so cute, as are their bigger cousins hairies!

  2. Marianneon 26 Apr 2011 at 8:59 am

    I have seen the downies do this many times at my feeding area also! There is a Cooper’s Hawk who regularly visits my house for HIS dinner! I always hope that he gets starlings who pig out on my suet.

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