RE: FW: [canberrabirds] White-browed Woodswallows - dy defensive pose

To: "'Bron King'" <>
Subject: RE: FW: [canberrabirds] White-browed Woodswallows - dy defensive pose
From: "Geoffrey Dabb" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2014 09:54:26 +1100

Bron  -  A good example on my part of extrapolating, chatline-fashion, from inadequate data. However,  I think there is a valid generalisation in there somewhere. My theory now (still from less than adequate data) is that White-browed fledglings will engage in the behaviour in  a higher proportion of anti-predator situations than Dusky fledglings. The behaviour is the rigid posture with upraised bill.  Most recent fledglings will freeze as an anti-predator response.  g


From: Bron King [
Sent: Friday, 10 January 2014 10:31 PM
To: Geoffrey Dabb;
Subject: Re: FW: [canberrabirds] White-browed Woodswallows - dy defensive pose


I apologise.  When I checked after I read your observation Geoffrey, I realised that the photo to which I linked
was of Dusky Woodswallows, seen at L. Ginninderra.
(We'd been watching White-broweds at Boorowa a day or two earlier and I mislabeled the photo).


Yes  -  I have seen that freezing behaviour, head raised stiffly, sufficiently often with White-broweds to think it is typical early fledging (not necessarily premature fledging) behaviour in response to a possible predator.  It does not seem to happen with Duskies, for example the below premature fledger (discussed earlier) at Stony Creek which remained active and was eventually called back to the nest site by the parents.  One assumes that the alarm calls by the parents prompt freezing (up to a point) in the White-browed, otherwise with Duskies

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