It is currently July 31st, 2014, 7:31 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: June 13th, 2011, 2:55 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:58 am
Posts: 112
Location: Western Washington
Yesterday I noticed a couple of birds fluttering in the grass on the hill in my backyard. I initially thought they were fighting and one might have been injured and hidden in the tall grass. Regretfully, I didn't take a closer look. I had to run out to the store and get some things for dinner. While at Costco, my wife called and told me our 6 year old son had found a garter snake eating a bird in the backyard. I told her to get the camera and take some shots but then I realized I left the camera in the car (with me). This was a garter snake eating a bird for crying out loud! When I came home my son directed me to the snake.

Image

There were other birds flying over head, some sitting in the trees nearby, and a couple were keeping a close eye on the snake, a Puget Sound Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis pickeringii).

Image

Two of the birds came within a few feet of the snake as I took pictures. Based on the lump in the snake, I think it's possible the snake caught two birds this afternoon, or possibly another food item in addition to the bird. The birds would go up to the snake without fear.

Image

Image

Image

Often we see birds picking seeds and insects off the ground in the backyard. The snake no doubt caught the bird(s) when they got too close.

Image

It also looks like the snake sustained some injuries to its head and neck.

Image

The snake had a difficult time crawling away.

Image

Maybe a more typical meal?

Image

Casey


Last edited by Casey Lazik on February 21st, 2012, 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile WWW 
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal
PostPosted: June 13th, 2011, 3:39 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:05 am
Posts: 37
Location: Oregon
Wow that is really cool Casey. Yeah to bad you didn't realize what was happening. That would be a video to have. Damon


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal
PostPosted: June 13th, 2011, 3:49 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:58 am
Posts: 112
Location: Western Washington
Dman wrote:
... to bad you didn't realize what was happening.

:oops:

Thanks Damon. Yeah, these opportunities don't come around too often. For me, once in nearly 50 years!


Top
 Profile WWW 
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal
PostPosted: June 13th, 2011, 8:46 pm 

Joined: June 20th, 2010, 4:01 pm
Posts: 38
Next time, catch it, palp it, and pickle it !


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal
PostPosted: June 13th, 2011, 9:55 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:14 pm
Posts: 251
Casey:
Juncos make their nests on the ground. I suspect that the garter snake preyed upon one or two nestling Juncos.

Richard F. Hoyer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal
PostPosted: June 13th, 2011, 10:36 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:58 am
Posts: 112
Location: Western Washington
Thanks Richard. I'm sure you're correct.
Robert- :lol:


Top
 Profile WWW 
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal
PostPosted: June 14th, 2011, 9:53 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:06 am
Posts: 120
That's pretty cool, I had a Garter regurge a rabbits foot on me one time, blew me away.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal
PostPosted: July 9th, 2011, 9:45 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:57 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Orting, WA
One of the most amazing posts ever! :thumb:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal
PostPosted: July 10th, 2011, 4:02 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:58 am
Posts: 112
Location: Western Washington
Thanks Nate! That's amazing. :shock:
Thanks Joshua! Mighty nice of you. :beer: So have any of you guys been doing any herping?


Top
 Profile WWW 
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal
PostPosted: July 13th, 2011, 5:11 pm 
User avatar

Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Posts: 645
Location: King County, WA
Casey, this is an AMAZING story and great set of photos to go with it!

I have never heard of garter snakes eating birds in our region. I agree with Richard's theory about this most likely being a nest predation situation. The multiple lumps in the belly, the close proximity of the adult bird and the bleeding wounds on the snakes head tell a story of a opportunistic snake chancing upon a nest full of plump baby juncos. No doubt the parent inflicted the wounds in a valiant effort to defend the chicks and send the snake packing.

I bet if you looked around very carefully within a few feet of the original site of the event you could find the junco's nest. They often blend in very well, at the base of a fern or dense shrub.

Give it a look and see if you can get a pic of the nest.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal
PostPosted: July 16th, 2011, 9:04 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:58 am
Posts: 112
Location: Western Washington
Thanks PNWHerper!

I'll have another look on the hillside for remnants of the nest. It is quite overgrown now.
Welcome to the forum!

Casey


Top
 Profile WWW 
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: February 21st, 2012, 4:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:58 am
Posts: 112
Location: Western Washington
Suffering badly from spring fever, I thought I'd crawl out of my cave and have a look on the Forum. Going through the older posts, I noticed my photos weren't displaying properly, so I fixed them. The hillside where this took place is nearly a waterfall now with the recent rainfall :lol:


Top
 Profile WWW 
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: February 22nd, 2012, 12:36 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Posts: 958
Location: Pacific Northwest
Casey, we should meet up some time soon! I think the garters should be out consistently soon, and I am surprised I haven't heard any chorus yet with the rain and temps we've had the last two weeks. Give me a shout some time.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: February 22nd, 2012, 5:44 pm 
User avatar

Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Posts: 645
Location: King County, WA
Keep me in the loop. I would love to do some herpin' in western WA. My free time is scarce, but it could work out.

Thus far this year, seen and heard N. red-legged frogs calling. Where I work there are quite a few egg masses already. Have only heard a single, rather subdued group of P. Chorus frogs chorusing on a warm, sunny day next to a small pond. Found 1 dead W. long-toed salamander in the same pond. Also have seen tracks of western toads, red-leggeds and Rough-skinned newts.

No snakes yet, so far.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2012, 7:55 pm 

Joined: June 20th, 2010, 4:01 pm
Posts: 38
Went to see Motorhead and Megadeth in Kent on Tuesday, caught some Hyla (yeah, I said Hyla!) next to the venue....then I spilled my $8 beer!

Anyway, Andy and Josh I sent you guess a FB message.

Casey I am sending you a PM for some photo requests.

Weaver


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2012, 9:08 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:58 am
Posts: 112
Location: Western Washington
Gentlemen,

This sounds good. Let's make it happen. I want to show there are zonata in Kittitas County. Note: That is Kittitas, not Klickitat County. ;)

Casey


Top
 Profile WWW 
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: February 24th, 2012, 8:27 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Posts: 958
Location: Pacific Northwest
Casey, sounds good, we've only got a month or so...

Robert, I replied to your FB message, shouldn't be a problem.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: March 10th, 2012, 6:55 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 19th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Posts: 209
Kind of early for Juncos to be nesting, much less have young in the nest. That probably happens in April.

Dave


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: March 10th, 2012, 7:56 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:58 am
Posts: 112
Location: Western Washington
June 13, 2011 to be exact. :lol:
The date of the post is on the upper right side. 8-)


Top
 Profile WWW 
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: March 13th, 2012, 1:05 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 19th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Posts: 209
Got it! Thanks, sorry for not noticing. Hope this rain brings out the critters for you all.

Dave


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A very large meal-photos fixed
PostPosted: March 13th, 2012, 1:25 pm 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:58 am
Posts: 112
Location: Western Washington
8-)
Yes, it's been a long, cold winter here!


Top
 Profile WWW 
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: