Thursday, July 12, 2007

Feeding Time

The Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) family is doing well the second time around. The first clutch disappeared within two hours of the eggs being laid with the prime suspect in the abduction being a Greenish Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta x quadrivittata). The nest was constructed in the cigarette disposal bin by the front door of the Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest and within easy reach of the sure-climbing snake. The image of the nest shows two of the four chicks displaying their colorful and gaping maws. Prior to their eyes opening, any movement near the nest entrance would ellicit this response. The chicks are slightly more selective with their begging now that they can see what (often the smiling face of a camper) is blocking the sunlight at the nest entrance.

The second image shows a Greenish Rat Snake that found its way INTO my home this afternoon. Mrs. Swampy called after having stepped over the 3-foot reptile at the base of the stairs by the front door. An over-the-phone identification gave her the courage to capture the snake in a box to satisfy requests from the children still here at summer camp. The snake will be release back into the yard to help control the rodent population. Peanut Butter, the pet hamster, may have lured the rat snake into the house, but the hamster is on the list of approved rodents (pets not meals).

First a Barred Owl (Feb. 2007) in the chimney and now a Greenish Rat Snake...what next? I'm not sure my wife really wants to hear that answer.

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