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!!!!

    • 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. 🙂

  2. 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…

    • 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.

    • 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!

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

        • 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!

          • 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. 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!

    • 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!

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