Hawk & snake


Sometimes one doesn’t know what one has until well after the observation.

As I took the picture, I noticed nothing other than a perched Red-tailed Hawk. When I looked at it on the camera, I noticed that the hawk was holding a stick, possibly for nest building. When I looked at it on the computer, I realized that the stick was a snake. I guessed a species, but when I asked Jakob Dulisse, an experienced local biologist, he eliminated my guess as to a species and opined, western garter snake (Thamnophis elegans). OK, not a stick.

A Red-tailed Hawk has captured a western garter snake,

and flies off with it.


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3 Responses to Hawk & snake

  1. Lorna Surina says:

    How interesting. I had a Barred Owl that hunted snakes during the day. I surmised it was feeding young as it was the season.

  2. Christine Boyd says:

    Funny story, great photos!

  3. Sybille says:

    A few weeks back two of us saw a large buteo (I’m guessing a red-tailed hawk) flying with a piece of rope or a flexible branch hanging from its talons. We thought for nest building. The hawk dropped the object, then swooped down and recovered it before it hit the ground. A stunning acrobatic display. It flew a bit further then dropped the object in a pond. Wuh? Aha, now it becomes clear. It must have been a very squirmy snake, or perhaps it bit the hawk one time too many.

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