[Tweeters] Song sparrow and a garter snake

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Tue Sep 2 17:21:27 PDT 2008

Today I was distracted by a song sparrow which was giving an alarm call,
jumping up on a low branch, then down on the ground, then up on the branch,
then back on the ground, over and over again. It was very odd behavior
which lasted about 3 minutes. To my surprise a rather large garter snake
crawled out from under the branch which a few minutes before had been the
sparrows up perch. Although I could not see it at the time, I wonder if the
sparrow was landing on the snake when it flew down the ground? I have not
heard of garter snakes eating adult birds but they could possibly get a
nestling. This snake was a good 24+ inches long.

A large group of adult and juv. evening grosbeaks, cedar waxwings, and a
couple of those juv warbler/vireo mystery birds converged upon the Red-osier
dogwood and blueberries in my yard and picked them clean. I was surprised
that the rather noisy bunch did not attract the local Coopers Hawk.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer
Snohomish County, WA

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