Friday, February 12, 2016

Brown Creeper

On Thursday, I watched a Downy Woodpecker perched stock still at the suet feeder. Erika exclaimed, “there is a Brown Creeper doing the same thing!” I assume both species behaved this way in response to a Sharp-shinned Hawk that patrols the back woodlot. Poulin et al. (2013) confirm this behavior in creepers: “adults became silent and “froze” with bodies pressed tight against bark in response to presence...or call of Sharp-shinned Hawk.”

These authors also report that no information is known about Brown Creeper parasites. If you look closely at this photograph (perhaps by enlarging it on your computer screen), you may notice a tick or possibly a feather mite. This parasite is embedded in the bird’s head between the bill and the eye.

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