Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Birds Mobbing a Black Rat Snake

by Donna L. Watkins

I was reading on the porch when the birds began "mobbing" something from the holly tree that is outside the breakfast room window (we thought it was a bush when we planted it). I always figure it's a snake but they usually do this in trees so I've never seen what they see with their amazing bird's eye view.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Black Rat Snake in Holly
First let me mention that these snakes are good snakes. They are not aggressive even when handled. They will keep your property free of things that you would enjoy less than a snake, I assure you.

Black Rat Snakes enjoy resting on branches in trees and bushes, but I now know I've been looking too far away from where the birds are making their fuss. As I observed from this experience, they're right where the snake is. My view was only a foot away from the window, so I was so excited to have a front row seat.

There were five species fussing over it and shouting their alarm calls. I did get a two-minute video of them flying at him and hopping all around him. Very odd! I was so surprised. They would make a huge fuss. He never moved. Then they'd go feed and 5 minutes later somebody would come check again and begin the whole scene over with everybody else flying in and out of the bush around him.

I couldn't believe how close they would get to him. They kept moving around the bush, hopping in really close, especially the wren which you can see in the video between the branches. Various species would fly around him to scare him off. He never budged.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Black Rat Snake
I took the opportunity of being able to get some underside and side views by going outside. Since he was facing away from me, I stroked his back to get him moving to a better place to get the underside view and get a picture of his face which was mostly hidden behind a leaf when viewing from inside the house.

He was 2-1/2 feet long but very thin. As you can see from the photo, the body closest to his head is even thinner than the other half, which may mean that the back half still has some food moving through. I thought the wiggly design was pretty cool but have no idea why his body seem to be laid in ripples.

The raindrops were a nice added touch also. At first I was wondering why he had two bumps on the top of his head, and then I realized they were raindrops. Even on a slant they seem to stay on his skin so that intrigues me since the skin is so smooth. Maybe it has something to do with the actual scales.  View video: Black Rat Snake With Birds Mobbing

Get detailed info on the Eastern Rat Snake at  They even come in different colors.

Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now * Women * Men * Children * Essential Oils * Cleansing * Weight Loss

No comments:

Share This Post