The keen eyesight and acute hearing of birds help them react quickly to predators, which may be other birds, such as falcons and hawks, or other types of animals, such as snakes and weasels. Many small birds feed in flocks, where they can benefit from the observing power of numerous pairs of eyes. The first bird in a flock to spot a predator usually warns the others with an alarm call.

Birds that feed alone commonly rely on camouflage and rapid flight as means of evading predators. Many birds have highly specific and unusual defense strategies. The burrowing owl in North America, which lives in the burrows of ground squirrels, frightens off predators by making a call that sounds much like a rattlesnake. The snipe, a wading bird, flees from its enemies with a zigzag flight pattern that is hard for other birds to follow.


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