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Was this bird playing dead or injured ?

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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 18:47   #1
Groovy Grackle
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Was this bird playing dead or injured ?

During a casual walk around in my yard today ( with my binoculars) I saw something I have never seen a bird do before and not sure why it did this.
Was watching some small birds like Chikadees,Carolina Wrens and Purple Finches fluttering around in a thicket full of twisting vines. Shortly after a while I noticed just beyond in a clearing a mockingbird that looked dead...looking through my binoculars I could see it's feathers sticking out and wings spread. I could see it was almost laying on it's back like dead or injured !

My heart sunk because I assumed a cat probably killed it..but to my surprise as I made some noise in the trees it hopped upright quickly and flew away rapidly in perfect condition and health!

I did notice there was a patch of sun there...was it sunning ? Do some bird species play dead sometimes...I am puzzled! lol

Has anyone witnessed this type of odd behavior in birds?

Last edited by Groovy Grackle : Saturday 6th July 2019 at 18:58.
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 19:04   #2
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Sounds like sunning
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 19:11   #3
KC Foggin
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It might have been "anting" Where birds spread their wings out letting ants attach themselves to their feathers. You might want to do a google search on "anting" to explain more. Below is a list of birds that commonly use this technique. Mockingbird is one of them.

20 common birds that ant
Ruffed Grouse
Wild Turkey
Great Horned Owl
Northern Flicker
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Mockingbird
Gray Catbird
Veery
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Baltimore Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
House Sparrow
American Crow
Common Raven
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 19:36   #4
Groovy Grackle
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That is interesting...I never considered anting! There has been some scattered rain here lately that had stirred up the ants..so it makes perfect sense! That is a smart way to get easy food.

Last edited by Groovy Grackle : Saturday 6th July 2019 at 19:39.
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 19:38   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutcracker View Post
Sounds like sunning
I came along and ruined it's sunning activity perhaps! lol
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