An Arizona woman spotted a python eating pigeon eggs right above her head while sitting outside with her morning coffee.
Petra Paul spotted a transport ship snake in central Arizona, and captured footage of the discovery. The snake was lurking above its head in a bird’s nest.
She posted the footage to a Facebook group, Arizona Outdoors the Valley, with the caption: “So, I’ve been sitting outside drinking my coffee and it’s happening.”
The Arizona Department of Game and Fish reposted the video with the caption:
“Our group member Petra B. was enjoying her morning coffee when suddenly she saw someone else eating breakfast too! This coach was making a small bite of some pigeon eggs.”
In the footage, the chariot snake can be seen swallowing the pigeon’s eggs whole. It appears to double the size of its head, but the snake eventually manages to swallow the egg.
A second video shows the snake slowly slithering away after it has finished its meal. Paul puts the camera at an angle inside the nest to find that the snake left one egg intact.
Snakes can swallow prey that appears larger than themselves by increasing the width of their jaws. Once the snake swallows the prey, it moves down the esophagus with saliva and is slowly digested. Snakes have a strong digestive system that allows them to break down large prey.
Coachwhip snakes are a type of non-venomous snake, native to the southern United States. They can be found from North Carolina to central California, in deserts, grasslands, meadows, and woodlands.
On average they are about 3 to 5 feet long. In rare cases, they can reach 8 feet in length.
Snakes are most active in the morning and afternoon. Although snakes are non-venomous, they can be aggressive. While they are more likely to retreat and hide rather than hit, they have been known to bite if picked up or provoked.
Dozens of social media users commented on the Facebook post. C David Fernandez, a Facebook user, said Paul captured a “big moment”.
Another user, Amy Burnett, said: “Wow! Lucky you saw this! The training is awesome.”
Warship snakes prefer a diet of insects, lizards, other small snakes, rodents and birds.
Snake season in Arizona is in full swing. Snakes are most active in the warmer months from March to October. As the weather warms, snake sightings become more frequent as cold-blooded reptiles rely on heat to keep their bodies moving and digesting properly.