[CT Birds] Question on bird behavior- "frozen" pose

sean at seanmurthaart.com sean at seanmurthaart.com
Mon Apr 2 21:14:09 EDT 2012


Today I came across a behavior I have seen a few times before that I have never figured out.  It was a Downy Woodpecker on a sapling, at about eye level, frozen still.  I noticed it as I passed by, perhaps two yards away.  I stopped and watched for several minutes and except for small movements of the head, it stayed completely still- even as I moved.  It remained there until I left.  On past occasions I have seen this with White-breasted Nuthatch and Brown Creeper, and in each case I suspected a nearby raptor but was unable to locate one.  In the case of the Creeper I even suspected it was ME that it was perceiving as a threat, and it was trusting it's camouflage.  But neither Nuthatch nor Downy is particularly gifted in that respect.
 
Has anyone seen this behavior before and have any better explanation for it?
 
-Sean Murtha, Norwalk

www.seanmurthaart.com


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