Monday, October 5, 2009

Snake and Mice

First there was a squeak and then a female White-footed Mouse ran by with one of her babies in tow. She paid no attention to me as she ran on into the tall grass. I could see movement in the leaves ahead and had a pretty good idea of what had caused her to run. I found a Black Rat Snake cleaning out a nest of young mice.

The snake took an interest in me as I crouched beside it. It kept reaching its head towards me as though it detected mammal behind the camera. Maybe this is the snake version of a feeding frenzy.

After a while, the snake went back to its mice. Its interest in me caused it to momentarily lose track of its food cache.

It took just a moment to rediscover the underground nest and the last of the mice.

There was no thrashing or constricting in the capture of these nestlings. Just a quick grab and swallow.

I was taking shots as quickly as my camera would reset. The snake was wasting no time.

A slight swelling of the neck as the mouse slides down.

A quick glimpse of the tail and the meal’s over.

The snake spent a couple of minutes checking for additional mice in the area around the nest site. I know the snake ate at least four young mice.

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