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Sunday, 14 November 2010

War in the garden: birds vs snake

A few weeks ago, I heard the Red-whiskered Bulbuls making a lot of stressful noise in the garden. They would often stand on the big pomelo tree and looked as though they were “shouting” at something underneath.

When I went to investigate, I found that they were actually “screaming” in the direction of a small tree. 

Initially I thought it had something to do with the old nest that a pair of Red-whiskered Bulbuls abandoned last year (the dark shadow in upper center).

When I got closer to the tree, I noticed a pair of bright eyes staring at me. Actually, a big green snake was resting in the tree!

In fact, the snake was sunbathing in the tree but the birds were not happy about the snake being  in their territory. It seemed that they were trying to scare the snake away from the garden.

In the following days, over a dozen Red-whiskered Bulbuls came to the garden regularly and kept “screaming” at the snake. Some brave ones even got really close to the snake (just above the black knot).

Others were either sitting on the big pomelo tree above 

or keeping their distance from the snake.

The loud stressful noise must have alarmed other birds nearby. Soon, several types of birds came to the garden to investigate, including Common Tailor-birds

Oriental Mygpie Robins.

Initially, the snake did not take any notice and continued his sunbathing everyday for about a week.

But the birds seemed so determined that their “shouting” frequency was increased to 3-4 times a day. After tolerating the noisy birds for over a week, the snake was finally fed up and left. It hasn’t returned since.

The Red-whiskered Bulbuls are now back to their happy go lucky nature and the stressful “shouting” noise has been replaced by happy singing sounds.

 I wish I could tell them how much I admire their courage and determination for winning the war against a potentially lethal enemy more than 10 times bigger than themselves.


Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Wow it's just amazing how the snake camouflage among the leaves! I wouldn't be able to notice it....

Bob Bushell said...

Clever old viper.

Chris said...

Wow awesome post! I mean, you really need to observe well to find this snake! Is that a venomous one? Nice looking birds you got there. The pictures are splendid!

Birdy Official said...

That's wonderful story and images. Always afraid of snakes, but this green colored snake is amazing.

woodpecker said...

A great story telling how the birds work together to overcome such a lethal threat. Great pictures too.