August 10, 2009

Yipes! Our biggest one yet

I was just about to refill the hummer feeders when I looked outside and saw some strange bird behavior. The cactus wrens and the curve bill thrashers were threatening something, but very tentatively, and rightly so. They had a huge Diamondback in their sights.

I have made some observations now that we had dealt with a number of rattlesnakes. They don't seem to come to the house unless they have recently eaten. They come here looking for a nice, quiet place on the porch to digest in peace. They just want to curl up and hide.

It is amazing to me that the birds know about the snakes, but after all, snakes do eat their eggs and young, and those with beaks that can do damage would like to get their licks in. This spring two curvebill thrashers chased a bullsnake off the porch and out of the yard, hacking at any part of his anatomy.

This snake was big, and I did not have time/guts to take a picture during his capture. It took several tries with the tongs and he was so heavy (Dan thinks about 10 pounds) that it took some time to get him into the bucket, head first. We are now in the market for a real snake hook and a better transportation device than a lidded bucket.

No rattling during transportation, and the snake was not even that anxious to get out. Thanks to the tongs, he sustained no damage and will set up housekeeping elsewhere.

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