I had barely broke free from the woods when a distant menacing shape caught my eye. There, perched on a snag in a dead tree out in the wetland, was a Merlin. These muscular little falcons are among a small bird's worst enemies; feathered Freddie Kruegers. I had scarcely registered the Merlin when the male Downy Woodpecker in this photo bounded in low over the marsh and swooped up into a nearby tree. It apparently had been out working the drowned snags, and the Merlin came in too close for comfort. The woodpecker pressed itself to the trunk, and remained quite still for several minutes. In the photo, it is casting a glance backwards in the direction of the predator. Shortly after the Merlin departed, the woodpecker skedaddled to somewhere else.
Such uncharacteristically frozen postures are sometimes adopted by songbirds and other small birds such as this woodpecker when avian predators are close at hand. You've perhaps seen chickadees or other feeder birds do it when a Cooper's Hawk barrels into the backyard. I have heard this behavior termed "sleeking", as the potential victim presses its feathers down and attempts to become one with its surroundings. It's probably not the best descriptive word for this, but I've always liked the sound of it.