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  1. #1
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    Default Hawk eats snake's head with pic

    I was walking along a trail in my hometown of Birmingham, Ala., a few weeks ago when I came upon one of the more remarkable things I've seen in the woods. I say "woods" because the place I was hiking, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve (buckeye trail), is no backcountry but rather a modest natural oasis in the middle of a city, a wooded foothill honeycombed and dotted with the remnants of 100-year-old mine shafts from the city's industrial past. It's not exactly a wildlife preserve, so I was quite surprised to see a red-tailed hawk on the trail about 30 yards ahead of me as I was coming down the side of the mountain near the area's wetlands. The hawk retreated to a low-hanging branch as I approached it but the large bird didn't have enough time to carry away the snake it was munching on when I disrupted its breakfast. The snake's head was ripped away and no where to be found (in the belly of the hawk, I'm assuming). I snapped a picture of the murder scene with my camera phone. Poor snake never knew what hit him, I'm sure. Just a shadow of death and then curtains. The tail-end of the snake was still inside a hollowed-out tree, so the hawk must have been waiting on him. I left the bird to its meal and when I came back 45 mins later all evidence of the snake was gone. I was wondering, can anyone identify the species of snake? I realize it might be difficult without the head but the pattern is distinct and it's a pretty big snake.snake.jpg
    Daddy made whiskey and he made it well.
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  2. #2

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    Death from above...Sorry dude I don't know my snakes.
    I hike for hikin'

  3. #3
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    Hawks are serious hunters. There are tons around here, just the other day I came home on my bike and as I rode up the driveway I see a hawk fly away from my Live Oak tree. As he flew off I saw little balls of down feathers falling, kind of reminded me how a fighter jet launches defensive flares.

    I looked over the yard and I saw tons of feathers and bits of flesh and blood. From the size of feathers I believe it was one of the Eurasian collard doves that visit my yard everyday....I haven't seen them since.



    In memory....


    "The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible."
    -- Paul Dirac

  4. #4
    Registered User moytoy's Avatar
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    That looks like it could be somebodys pet Boa. I'm not the expert tho.
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  5. #5
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    Looks like an anerythristic corn snake. Kinda the opposite of albino.
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

  6. #6
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    Default Hawk eats snake's head with pic

    Identified this snake, finally. Mole Kingsnake.
    Daddy made whiskey and he made it well.
    Cost two dollars and it burned like hell.
    I cut hick'ry just to fire the still,
    Drink down a bottle and be ready to kill.

  7. #7
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    Looks like a rat snake to me.

  8. #8

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    [QUOTE=john gault;1273716]Hawks are serious hunters.

    They can also be serious cowards. Last Spring I saw a hawk being chased by a Starling, a Blackbird and a Crow! I suspect they were trying to protect their nests. I never realized that birds of 3 different species would cooperate like that! All 3 were pecking at the hawk, the little Starling being the fiercest fighter of the three. The little bird reminded me of a Kamikaze pilot attacking the aircraft carriers in WW2. He kept zooming in and hitting the hawk over and over. The hawk departed the area and stayed away!
    "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need but not for every man's greed."
    - Mohandas Gandhi

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=john gault;1273716]Hawks are serious hunters.
    Quote Originally Posted by atraildreamer View Post

    They can also be serious cowards. Last Spring I saw a hawk being chased by a Starling, a Blackbird and a Crow! I suspect they were trying to protect their nests. I never realized that birds of 3 different species would cooperate like that! All 3 were pecking at the hawk, the little Starling being the fiercest fighter of the three. The little bird reminded me of a Kamikaze pilot attacking the aircraft carriers in WW2. He kept zooming in and hitting the hawk over and over. The hawk departed the area and stayed away!
    I know around here the mockingbirds chase the hawks, but after what I saw last year I'm guessing they just let them, or at least tolerate it.

    Last year there was a mockingbird nest in a Date tree across the street, these mockingbirds would come in the yard everyday and exert their dominance in my yard by giving me those warning gestures they do with their wings and chase my cat and eat stuff in my garden. Then I stopped seeing them and I saw a hawk picking out the little chicks from the nest, so I guess he got the parents (or at least one of them, probably the female) first then snacked on the chicks.
    "The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible."
    -- Paul Dirac

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=john gault;1277055]
    Quote Originally Posted by john gault View Post
    Hawks are serious hunters. I know around here the mockingbirds chase the hawks, but after what I saw last year I'm guessing they just let them, or at least tolerate it.
    I agree. Last summer I was at a concert of "A Prairie Home Companion" at an outdoor amphitheater and this very large Hawk (probably Red Tail) kept flying back and forth, each time being harassed by a whole flock of smaller birds (I'm guessing Red Wing Blackbirds). Also last summer, I was mowing the lawn and heard this cacophony over the lawn mower noise. There was a RT Hawk sitting on the gazebo not 10 yards away total surrounded by a flock of RW Blackbirds. The hawk pretty much ignored them, and then flew into some willows and attacked something. The willows were too thick to see what was happening but there were dozens of screeching blackbirds and a cloud of feathers all swirling around in the trees. Finally, we were backpacking on North Manitou Island and came across a Hawk sitting on the forest floor about 5 yards off the trail. He made this creepy screeching sound and stretched out one wing to the side and puffed himself up. I'm guessing he was guarding a kill, but I couldn't see anything at his feet due to the shrubs and low light.

    hawk.jpg

  11. #11

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    [QUOTE=Odd Man Out;1277073]
    Quote Originally Posted by john galt View Post

    I agree. Last summer I was at a concert of "A Prairie Home Companion" at an outdoor amphitheater and this very large Hawk (probably Red Tail) kept flying back and forth, each time being harassed by a whole flock of smaller birds (I'm guessing Red Wing Blackbirds). Also last summer, I was mowing the lawn and heard this cacophony over the lawn mower noise. There was a RT Hawk sitting on the gazebo not 10 yards away total surrounded by a flock of RW Blackbirds. The hawk pretty much ignored them, and then flew into some willows and attacked something. The willows were too thick to see what was happening but there were dozens of screeching blackbirds and a cloud of feathers all swirling around in the trees. Finally, we were backpacking on North Manitou Island and came across a Hawk sitting on the forest floor about 5 yards off the trail. He made this creepy screeching sound and stretched out one wing to the side and puffed himself up. I'm guessing he was guarding a kill, but I couldn't see anything at his feet due to the shrubs and low light.

    hawk.jpg
    It always cracks me up to see little birds ganging up on hawks,knowing that hawk is saying "keep it up yo,I'll see you later for dinner".
    I hike for hikin'

  12. #12
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    I saw a hawk carrying a snake into a tree top near the Lost Mt/US58 crossing for some take-home a few years back.

    Also interrupted a hawk chowin'-down on a rabbit at the AT spring on Whitetop at close range. Like 5'.
    Scared the be-Jesus outta both of us.

  13. #13
    Registered User Greystroke's Avatar
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    Saw a hawk eat a pigeon in my side yard winter of 2010/11. Sat there just 20 feet from me on a snow bank for about half an hour munching on the pigeon until the remains of the carcass was light enough to fly off with to a tree across the street. He was still in the tree an hour later too fat to move. Ate the whole thing.

  14. #14

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    Have you ever noticed how some people mantle over there food?
    I hike for hikin'

  15. #15

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    particularly "Mac and Cheese"
    I hike for hikin'

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