Martins killed a snake

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daltonmissouri
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:16 pm
Location: Perryville, MO

My wife was watching our martins out the window, and they kept flying down to the ground and pecking at something there, both landing and pecking and fluttering and pecking. When she went out to see what it was, she found a small garter snake which they had killed.
Has anyone else had martins killing snakes? If so, I hope they kill copperheads too.
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6204
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

I wonder if they were mobbing a snake that was already dead, dropped there by a hawk or other predator? Martin beak is just not a killing machine, when it comes to snakes. How long was the snake?
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2860
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I agree the odds of martins killing any snake is slim. I have seen them act the same way toward HOSP. I have had HOSP sitting on and coming to and from their housing all day and really pay it no attention. I have then shot the HOSP and they will follow it to the ground and act the same way. They don't always do it buy from time to time they do.
2020 47 of 52 cavities with nest (5/29)(HOSP Count 7)
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
daltonmissouri
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:16 pm
Location: Perryville, MO

The snake was very small, about 4-6 inches.
What is a HOSP?
Thanks for your responses.
Spiderman
Posts: 758
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

HOSP is a sparrow.

I agree snake was already dead.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
daltonmissouri
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:16 pm
Location: Perryville, MO

Thanks. I tired to guess: "horde of stupid pigeons?"
daltonmissouri
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:16 pm
Location: Perryville, MO

That's disappointing that the snake was most likely already dead. I was going to turn my martins on the copperheads next.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2860
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I saw last night a video that possums eat copperheads and are immune to the venom, I had no idea but checked youtube and saw some videos on there showing them killing poisonous snakes....
2020 47 of 52 cavities with nest (5/29)(HOSP Count 7)
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
daltonmissouri
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:16 pm
Location: Perryville, MO

We used to have a cat that would eat baby copperheads, and she showed no ill effects from it.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Spiderman wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:13 am
HOSP is a sparrow.
HOSP specifically is a House Sparrow. A non-native, invasive species. There are quite a few native, non cavity nesting, sparrows.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Anthony Neira
Posts: 1317
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:12 pm
Location: San Antonio /Texas
Martin Colony History: Started in 1992 From neighbors old 1950-60's colonies. Have 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 4 MPP Poles, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals ,& 2 S&K 11" WITH Troyer Porches ready for 2019 Season !

I've seen Mocking Birds, Grackles & rats kill small snakes. :shock:
PMCA Member, 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals + Tunnels, & 2 S&K Bo 11"s WITH Troyer Porches ! 4 MPPs, For 2019 Season !! :grin: Started in 1992 from Older '50-'60s Colonies.
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