Do Tell!

There’s a first time for everything.

We’ve lived at Meadow Knoll for over 30 years, and this is the first time we’ve seen a snake on a hummingbird feeder. We watched for several minutes, and this five-foot bullsnake didn’t move. He was busy pretending to be an innocent, inviting tree branch that a wing-weary hummer can perch on for a good rest and a late-evening snack.

But not for long. Bill fetched the snake stick and a garbage can and wrestled the snake out of the rafters. This morning, he gave the snake a quick identifying spurt of white spray paint a few inches behind the head and deported him to the other side of the lake. If we see him again, we’ll recognize him. Next time, he’ll get a longer ride.

This surprising event prompted me to do a little online research and discover this interesting post on “Hummingbird Predators.”  Now I know that snakes do prey on hummingbirds (especially nesting birds). The predators’ list also includes cats, birds, praying mantids (there’s a grisly photo on the link), spiders, bees and wasps, frogs, and even (astonishingly) fish. Do tell!

Reading note. Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.–Mary Oliver

13 comments on “Do Tell!

  1. Oh my!! Not a snake fan. I rarely see any where I live in FL, even though I back up to a vacant lot. Years ago one got into the house. It was by the sliding glass doors just waiting for me to let it out!!!!

  2. Eeek! And yes, Suzanne, I remember this caution when (long ago) I took a canoe on a Florida canal. We were told to stay away from the trees, because snakes could drop from the trees into your boat, probably ending in a capsize!

  3. Hi. Great picture. I learned this same lesson when I moved to Jacksonville, Fl. One day on the phone I looked out my window to see a ‘branch’ moving in the wind-but no wind. I asked a friend at the Poison Control Center-it was a water moccasin. Apparently, that is why boaters on the canals often get bitten on the head.
    Also I love China and friends and the great info on herbs, etc from these stories. Just finished the new vanilla story-great addition!

  4. Gee, Susan, that would be me…always looking down when I should be lookin’ up and visa-versa!!! 😉

  5. Thanks, Susan–I hope you don’t, either. He was strong and tenacious. I’m sure he’ll do well wherever he’s slithered off to. 🙂

  6. That is a huge snake. I hope I never have to deal with one that large. Love the new website.

  7. Snakes don’t seem to have many predators here, Shawn. I saw a hawk feeding a snake to her baby hawks. And maybe coyotes would kill and eat a snake, if they could catch one. Luckily, we rarely see poisonous snakes.

  8. Oh my goodness! I had no idea that snakes would prey on all those other things besides hummingbirds. We don’t see many snakes here on account of the horse ranch that we share a fence line with–thank heavens. I’ll be interested to hear if you see that painted snake again! Sneaky little predators…

  9. Linda, this was the third snake Bill has captured/released from our front porch. The porch has a metal roof. We think the snakes prefer its heat and like to stretch out on the rafters. I’m used to watching my feet for snakes. On the porch, I have to remind myself to look up!

  10. I was glad Bill was there to do it, Susan. He’s tall and his arms are longer. But even he had a bit of a tussle with that snake–it was wrapped around a rafter and didn’t want to let loose. Still cleaning up little glitches with the site, so if you spot something that needs fixing, do let me know!

  11. Impressive ability to work out amazing hunting strategies by all those different hummer predators. At first glance I did think he was a branch. So glad you spotted this guy and are experienced with snake removal!
    Love the new site, Susan!

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