Hisss! ... Not As Slow As I Look
A sharp squawk from behind the bush and all the birds take off!
Oh, really Maggie, what's got into you? "Squaawwk", comes a gutteral reply. I casually amble over to investigate. The birds are now all making rude gargling sounds, inlcuding Mindy and Monty the new twins. Slowly I turn towards Maggie who's diving at something in the grass. A slithery creature only a few feet in front of me is gradually making its way - fortunately away from me. Maggie dives at it again showing it the way to the fence and making sure I can see where the carpet python is headed. I rush in, grab the camera and manage to get these shots before the snake disappears into the long grass. Maggie and Minnie keep up their dive-bombing efforts to show me the snake's location. They know I can't see it. The rest of the family sits in the tree above, keeping up the ruckus and making sure the snake knows that he is not welcome. The snake takes his own sweet time and luckily finds refuge in a roll of netting. The birds only stop after they see me return safely to the carport. I thanked for their efforts in once again keeping me and my yard safe from snakes.
Take a look at the slideshow below:
Previous Slide 1/12 Next Carpet Python only a few feet in front
Looking up 'Snakes of Australia' by Peter Mirtschin and Richard Davis, I think the snake is a carpet python (Morelia spilota imbricata). According to the authors this is one of the most common snakes in Australia, sheltering in hollow logs, rock crevices, disused burrows and even ceilings of many houses. They lay 9-52 eggs in a clutch and feed on mammals, reptiles and birds. These snakes can strangle and attack even adult magpies in a flash. No wonder my winged friends reacted so strongly and quickly.
To read more stories of the birds keeping the yard safe from snakes click here.
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