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

Roy Zartarian royz at royzartarian.com
Mon Apr 2 22:37:59 EDT 2012

I've seen this exact behavior in a Downy at a feeder when a Sharp-shinned
Hawk landed in a nearby tree.  The Downy stayed "frozen" for at least five
minutes after the Sharpie left.

Roy Zartarian

On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 9:14 PM, <sean at seanmurthaart.com> wrote:

> 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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