Mid Air Crisis…Averted
This morning we saw a Swallow-tailed Kite flying along the treetops at the far edge of the marsh pond. Quickly the kite circled around and headed back in our direction and we realized it had something in it’s feet. Snakes are it’s primary food source so seeing it had a Rough Green Snake was not a surprise. What was a surprise was not just how long the snake was, but how it wrapped it’s tail first around the beak of the kite then around the bird’s head and neck. After a bit of a struggle the kite managed to untangle itself from the snake’s grasp, and continue off with it’s prey…crisis averted.
In general, Swallow-tailed Kites are an uncommon species in our area so it’s always a treat just to get a glimpse of one and even better to see the kite with it’s prize catch!
wow amazing series of shots Phil! I saw a swallow tailed kite last year and was so thrilled! It was so big! Your close ups of birds and wildlife teach me so much about the species. Thank you!
Well thanks very much Maleea I’m happy you have been enjoying the photos!
He looks like a very slippery customer! 😀
I guess the snake figured it was worth a chance to keep trying to strangle the kite. If the snake gets dropped it still might die but if it does nothing it will for sure.
Thanks, appreciate you looking!
Looks like some skill is required for that job – all done while flying through the air. I don’t think I’ll apply.
Watching much of the wildlife struggle for their food and survival always makes me feel lucky to be able to go grab a sandwich if I’m hungry after taking pics.
You and your camera always seem to be where the action is, Phil. Amazing shots again. 🙂
Thanks very much Sylvia, I’m always thrilled to be able to witness and photograph a scene like this.
Every bit of this was amazing…. first the actions of the kite (and the snake), but your shooting topped it all off. Kudos to you!
I really appreciate your very kind comments Gunta, thanks!
Absolutely amazing Phil. Brilliantly captured!
Oh wow, thanks a million Adrian I truly appreciate it!
Amazing photos! And beautiful bird – who looked like it might have had a bad day had the snake been successful with its continual wrapping around the Kite. Crisis averted, indeed!
That is actually a rare bird for us here too so it was a bonus situation, cool bird and snake in the same shot!
Thanks for checking these out Megan.
WOW Phil, amazing shots, excellent nature photography.
Thanks a lot Jan I’m happy you enjoyed these kite pics!
Great stuff, nice catch!
Thanks much I appreciate you looking and commenting!
Great serie of photos, what a fight!
Thanks Hans and it was an even bigger fight because there was a gull chasing the kite for a while!
Very unlucky snake to fly the unfriendly skies. Love your rare captures.
Poor Mr. Snake is just minding his own business sitting in a tree and suddenly he is being flown about rudely.
Glad you like the pics!
My goodness, you really leave me in awe with your photos! What an amazing series this is.
Thanks a million Molly I’m very glad you enjoy the photos!
Beautifully shaped birds! Very cool that you caught him with the snake. Great shots, Phil.
They are a fairly large bird and quite elegant flyers making it look effortless.
Wow! Those are gorgeous shots!
Well I’m so happy you like then, thanks!
Wow. I’ve never seen such pics before. It must have been a great view
It was quite thrilling to see in part because this bird is rare for us. Thanks for looking!
Whew! That was a close one for the Kite. Fantastic job of recording the drama.
It was an even closer call because there was a gull chasing the kite at one point.
Glad you enjoyed the photos!
How you get pictures like these just amazes me, Phil! These are brilliant! Award winners?
I’m just happy when a terrific bird like this shows up and gives me the opportunity for pics! Thanks Maggie!
Thanks much for checking them out.
Really cool! That’s something you don’t see often!
Thanks! I have seen kites before and even ones with a snake but not this long of a snake and one that struggled so much.
This is just an incredible capture!!!!!!!!!
I really appreciate your very kind words!
This is absolutely amazing, and because of the subject I think the best post you’ve ever done. What an incredible scene you captured perfectly Phil.
Wow Emily thanks very much for the wonderful comments! I’m so happy you really enjoyed these pics!
Such drama in the skies! Of course the snake is going to struggle, we’ve just become so accustomed to the poor fishes which don’t seem to have such defences! What a stunning picture of real life, Phil 🙂
Yes I have to figure the snake is going to put up a struggle. We have found wounded snakes on the ground before with no other bird or animal around. We figure they were likely dropped by a bird like this. Maybe some even get away uninjured.
Thanks for checking these out and glad you like them!
What amazing photos, Phil. I think I’ve heard of birds wrestling in flight with live snakes, but never thought I’d get to see it! Thanks for another new and memorable experience from the marsh!!
Well I’m so happy you enjoyed this series Deb, thanks!
Wonderful photo gallery, it is always good to be reminded of the cycle of life from time to time.
Thanks very much Charlie and it seems that our local marsh is a dangerous place for snakes as well as fish.
Reblogged this on photographyofnia.
Thank you for the reblog Nia!
WOW! WOW! Seems that he was an acrobat 🙂 You are amazing photographer dear Phil, every time you come with another amazing composition that I have never seen before… Thank you, love, nia
I am so happy you enjoy seeing these photos Nia, thanks!
WOW!! You guys are always where the action is!! Plus, your talent in getting these amazing pics is extraordinary!! Just LOVE keeping up-to-date on you guys’ adventures!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pics with all of us!!
Thanks very much for looking and for your very kind comments Connie we appreciate it!
Amazing! I love your blog!
Lamar …. aka Sunfish 33
Well I really appreciate you checking in and commenting Lamar and I’m glad you liked these pics!
Wow! Once in a life time opportunity! Awesome!
We were sure thrilled to see it, thanks!
Your very welcome!!
I’m in awe! Thank you, Phil!!!
I appreciate your kind words Amy, thanks!
Absolutely astounding! What a capture!
Thanks very much I’m so glad you liked these kit epics!
What a cool sight to see, and you’ve captured some stunning photos!
Does it go after poisonous snakes? If so, I wonder how it avoids getting bitten.
Thanks for checking these out!
It would not surprise me if one grabbed a poisonous snake but maybe they know to stay away.
Wow! Excellent captures!
Thanks glad you liked ’em!
Wow, what a scene you captured…. Just stunning.
Well I really appreciate your very kind words!
Great shots Phil, never seen one that close up before
Thanks, we were quite happy when it flew practically right over our heads!
Wow, Phil. These are incredible!
Thanks Gracie, glad you enjoyed these!
Wow! Great photo series and capture!
Thanks very much so glad you enjoyed these!
I shared this with my birding group here on facebook. They loved it and were so impressed with your work.
Hey thanks Emily that sounds great! Happy to hear your group enjoyed the kite pics!