Skip to comments.Mortal Combat: Snake vs. Hawk
Posted on 06/09/2012 2:20:59 AM PDT by Daffynition
I just recevied an email with some stunning photos depicting the daily struggle of life in the animal world. I share them here because while this kind of thing must happen millions of times every day across the globe, rarely do we ever get to see it up close. To me, that makes this an odd thing to see. The outcome is also pretty amazing considering the circumstances.
I don't know the origin of the photos, or the veracity of the story, but the photos don't lie and are pretty stunning. Here's the tale included in the email I received:
"This has to be the weirdest thing that ever floated by me on the Snake River. They were stuck together in death lock, each wanting to kill the other first. My guess is that the falcon snatched up the tasty snake, and it somehow got its tail around the falcon's neck, strangling it in midair causing both of them to crash into the river. They are both alive and well, considering. I think a few more minutes and the snake would have won. The tail was actually tied in a knot around the neck, and getting tighter by the second. I got the snake untied, and well, as you can see, they both made it.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.discovery.com ...
While I believe this story to be true, it seems, as most emails of this type, that it has some misinformation.
The *snake* is a Texas Fox Snake or a Texas Ratsnake which are found: near the Comal River (TX).
And the bird is not a *falcon* but a young Red-tailed Hawk.
Still very cool.
Hawk better go find new dinner. Poor thing was probably hungry.
Ah he’s a young hawk, well, he will get more skill at hunting. Looks like he’s been throught the wringer all wet. lol
Red tail or broad tail? I dunno...impossible as a juvie to tell and all wet!
I’m glad they both were saved.
That cat is a bad*ss, and he knows it.
All these snake threads lately....I blame Shari and Alice. :)
“Seriously, don’t tread on me”
It’s a known fact that *everything* is my fault.
I *almost* posted a thread, complete with pictures of a rat snake my husband, daugher and I freed from our bird netting. Somehow, the snake got caught in it and in his attempts to free himself (all snakes are he, btw) got himself wrapped quite tightly. He had rubbed some of his skin off in one place. We’re not sure if he’ll survive his injury, but at least he’s out of our blueberry bushes and netting.
2 years ago I was sitting 20 feet up in an oak tree while bow hunting for deer. A large red tailed hawk landed in a tree beside me with the still alive snake in his claw. HE/she gave me the evil eye as he/she casually would lean over and take a bite out of the snake.. That same year I was again hunting when a grey squirrel spotted me sitting up in his tree. HE sat on a tree limb barking away for about 5 minutes when suddenly a large red-tail swooped down and grabbed the squirrel by the shoulders and carried him down through the woods. My first thought was “bark now blast you”.
I usually blame ny cats. They don’t care as long as the meal service is on time.
I have had several tree top adventures with critters.. Most exciting was playing peep-eye with a pileated woodpecker who sat just above my head ( altitude 20 feet again) hanging upside down with its beak 6 inches from my nose. HE investigated me for about 10 minutes. My camoflage face net must have confused him. All I could think of was that if he could peck a hole in a tree, my head would not be a challenge. Another “investigation” a ruby hummingbird would hover inches from my nose and look at me, then “chirp”. I had never heard one do this before. Wouldn’t take anything for my tree stand adventures, including the 3 “mountain women” complete with flour sack dresses, brogan shoes, and .22 rifles that stopped under my stand to ummmmmmm take a rest break not knowing I was above them. Being the gentleman that I am,,, I closed my eyes... also changed locations after they were gone : )
The snake had wrapped around a small stump that I had left when cleaning weeds and vines.
We used scissors and a craft knife to cut the netting away
He was about 3 feet long when we had him stretched out.
When he was free, he immediately went to ground in a hole hidden in the roots of one of the bushes. Since that hole is in the middle of where we placed the netting, we next put a heavy rock over it to force the snake to use an alternative entrance. It may not live with the damage done.
Guess you can be grateful it wasn't a buck.
The *squack* a pileated woodpecker can make is unnerving when you’re alone in the woods...can be very eerie.
Hummies are the best. We always a a pair that have so much personality. Generally when they are comfortable in their territory they can get very close, like in your encounter, and *chirp* to talk to you.
Question. A snake and a bird get caught up in a fight for survival. It gets broken up by a human who gives each one the ability to fight another day.
Why? Isn’t this the order of things? This was supposed to happen and sometimes the prey wins.
I am not trying to be facetious here, but the bird bit off more than it could chew. It wasn’t as if they got stuck in an apartment building or something that wasn’t natural for either of them. It was nature and it must take its course.
Or am I making a big deal about nothing? And if I am, it’s George Bush’s fault.
That deer would be on his own or perhaps steak.
It is the natural order of things, but can I remind you that we, human beings, are part of nature? Yes, hawks eat snakes, snakes fight back and we also interfere. It isn’t a big deal in the larger scheme of things.
Snakes are just the latest red-tailed hawk fashion statement.
Snakes are just the latest red-tailed hawk fashion statement.
This is how we wound up with planet of the apes. If my great great great grandchildren are enslaved by a colony of birds, I will find a way to come back for you.
Other than that, pictures are great.
It’s been a snake-ey sort of a year:
My dad had property in the mountains that he used for hunting. It was posted ‘no trespassing’. His favorite stand was at the edge of a creek overlooking a little meadow and in that meadow was a nut tree (can’t remember what kind). Anyway, he was hunting in his stand one Saturday and into the meadow comes this group of ladies with buckets, just jabbering away (by-bye deer). One of the topics of discussion was “the mean old man who owns this place”. Dad let them gather their nuts and when the buckets were about full, he climbed down out of his tree stand and strolled over to them and said “I’m the ‘mean old man’ who owns this place!” He then told them they were welcome to come gather nuts, but please don’t do it on days when he was going to be in his tree stand hunting. They were looking very chagrined since they realized he had heard every word of what they were saying & they promptly beat cheeks off the property. He never saw them again.
daffy, I never saw a lab look embarassed before...poor baby..LOL
LOL! It’s a deal.
FWIW, my motivation in freeing the snake was so it will continue eating the chipmunks and baby rabbits in my yard which HAVE EATEN MY DAISIES.
I moved the hoe closer to the snake, and the snake took off through our bushes. It was about five feet long although it didn't look that long when under the tree.
When I looked 15 minutes later it was back under the same tree. I faintly touched the snake with the hoe and the snake took off in the opposite direction than before. I wouldn't hurt it because I know it helps rid us of small rodents, but I would try to keep it away from our front door.
We haven't seen the snake since. We did see a baby rabbit that could easily fit in your palm in our front bushes the next morning and an adult rabbit sitting under the tree where the snake had been,
Here's the snake as we first saw it. The head and some of the snake was behind the tree.
Well *that* guy will get your attention! Thanks for the pix. Quite impressive.
*The best laid plans of Labs and snakes....*
You *know* he’s thinkin’ *WHAT-DO-I-DO-NOW-MOM?*
Vice-grip in his jaws...not letting go of his *prize*. Pride B4 the fall. :)
*Yawns, blinks eyes*
Now what did I wake up to.. OH DEAR MERCIFUL ZOMBIE INVASION!
Call her Ava and she'll handle those pesky snakeses.......
One year we had a family of red-tailed hawks nest in the pine tree next to my house. It was glorious. The hawks served as an invisible force-field over the garden. That year was the first year we were able to pull a harvest out of our garden unrobbed by squirrels and birds.
I’m so calling PETA this time for real. :0)
And, Al Gore, even though he’s a proven hoax-ster.