Friday, May 27, 2011

Snake Snacktivity

The saga continues. We last left the Boa Constrictor on his pine branch the evening of May 17th, when he went to bed hungry.

The following morning he was gone from that pine branch - but Marco and I easily spotted him a few feet higher, on a branch that was not nearly so exposed. We both thought it was a much better place for him to lurk.

After breakfast, I was inside near the kitchen sink when I heard a noisy outburst from the Red-legged Honeycreepers and Blue-gray Tanagers. I yelled to Marco, "They've found him!" We both went out onto the terrace, and sure enough - a flock of little birds was clustered around the snake, they were all chattering and scolding excitedly, flying and fluttering about. As we stood there watching the scene, worrying aloud about the young Bananaquit, who was again doing fly-bys and even landing within centimeters of certain doom, a Snowy-bellied Hummingbird landed right on the snake. It was a tremendously shocking moment - to actually be eyewitnesses to the grab was not something we expected. In a millisecond, the hummer was tightly within a coil and there was no hope for it.

For those of you who might be interested in witnessing such an event, see below. Marco had the camera rolling (I know - you've probably already jumped ahead and looked at the video.) It's illuminating to see the action in slow motion. I thought the hummer had landed well toward the rear of the snake, but the video clearly shows that the touchdown was just behind the snake's head. So much for eyewitness accounts.

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