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! 

Swallow-tailed Kite With Snake

Swallow-tailed Kite With Snake

Swallow-tailed Kite With Snake

Swallow-tailed Kite With Snake

Swallow-tailed Kite With Snake

Swallow-tailed Kite With Snake

79 thoughts on “Mid Air Crisis…Averted

  1. 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!

    • 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!!

  4. 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

  5. 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!!

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