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.
The hawk didn’t see them. It worked.
(photo by Marcy Cunkelman)