The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Fun and Excitement in Gerry Connolly's Fairfax County

We had a bit of a commotion outside the window here in suburban Alexandria a few minutes ago. In fact, a bunch of birds chirping at 10 o'clock at night isn't exactly normal around these parts, so something was definitely afoot.

We poked our heads outside to see what was going on, and noticed that there was a robin hooting and hollering around its nest, and one of its babies flopping around on the grass. And, when I looked up in the tree, I noticed that their humble abode had an uninvited guest—A rather unfriendly black rat snake had decided that it wanted to come over and visit with the Robin family for dinner.

The birds, of course, weren't happy to hear that they were the main course.

So, much to Mrs. Snapped Shot's chagrin, I decided to step in and remedy the situation.

The offending guest, and my unconventional snake-holding tool.
The snake was quickly dispatched back into the woods, where it'll be free to play cricket and rugby whenever it wants.

And the birds?

Well, just look at the smile on Junior's face:

"Cheep cheep."

Safely back at home, snug as a bug. Or a robin.

Bird-saving: All in a day's work here at Rancho Kooko!

Morning update: One of his brothers didn't make it, but our little Junior is still smiling this morning:

"Whatchoo looking at?"

Update: On a related note, here's how our cat makes friends with the very friendly (especially after we bribed it with sliced almonds!) Carolina wren:

Video link



#1 captainfish 21-May-2008
Brian, you are my hero!!

You da man!

Course, you know the snake will be back. The snakes always return. They came back in the 90's and it seems destined to be back in 2009.

(yeah, had to turn it political. sorry)
#2 DMartyr 22-May-2008
I'm glad you didn't kill the snake. They've always been a favorite pet of mine.

#3 Rooster 22-May-2008
Thanks to you laying your grimy hands on the poor bird, the mother will never have a thing to do with him again. And in your text you said you DID kill the snake. So which is it, Mr. Fairfax?
#4 Brian C. Ledbetter 22-May-2008

The mother was feeding it this morning just fine, and definitely started "fussing" at me when I went up to take care of Junior's ex-sibling.

#5 captainfish 22-May-2008
he used the word dispatched, but I think he meant "got rid of", or "shooed" or.. quickly removed from premises.

What happened to the brother bird? Snakey come back?
#6 Brian C. Ledbetter 22-May-2008

You're right, I did say I "dispatched" the snake. I'll leave any interpretation thereof to y'all, though. ;)

(As a disclaimer, I don't generally like to kill snakes around here, as they're all completely harmless to humans, and they do a terrific job of keeping the rodent population under control.)

This type of snake apparently feeds on small animals by constricting them first, and then eating them once they're dead. Unfortunately for our little sibling, the snake seems to have finished with the former process before I got there. (Which, oddly enough, seems like it'd make one heck of an Iraq analogy, if I were a bit more on top of my wit today.)

At least there's one survivor, and the mother hasn't abandoned it. From the looks of how it's standing out on limbs, I'm sure it'll be flying and on its own by the end of the week.

#7 DMartyr 22-May-2008
Well, Captainfish, since Brian said the snake was 'dispatched' to "free to play cricket and rugby whenever it wants", I'm assuming it was still alive and in relatively good health.


Rooster - MYTH! You can touch a baby bird and the parents will still feed it.

I'm sure the grateful little snake will remove a rat or two from your area as a thank you, Brian.
#8 captainfish 23-May-2008
And now.. the world is saved.

All hail Brian.

Too bad global warming will kill the bird before its first birthday.

Or, if it flies a tad north, it will freeze in the snow.
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