View Full Version : Moor hen and the snake

Rajeev Khanna
01-09-2012, 04:51 PM
This snake was found swimming found near some moorhens probably after the eggs or chicks it was bravely chased away by one of them
Canon 7d @ 400mm 100-400 f 8

Rajeev Khanna
01-09-2012, 04:52 PM
she is swimming around it

Rajeev Khanna
01-09-2012, 04:53 PM
snake moves away

Rajeev Khanna
01-09-2012, 04:54 PM
snake leaving the area

Rajeev Khanna
01-09-2012, 04:55 PM
snake is chased away

Mrudul Godbole
02-09-2012, 11:53 AM
Nice natural history moment captured. You got the snake in the water nicely. Thanks for sharing this action.

Abhishek Jamalabad
02-09-2012, 02:46 PM
It is interesting to see what protective parents birds are. We often see them mobbing much larger birds such as raptors if they sense a threat to the nest/chicks. This is quite an uncommon incident you have captured. Rat snakes(?) are quite fast and powerful and I guess could easily take on a moorhen-sized bird. I don't know though whether a rat snake would hunt in the water. Was there any particularly aggressive activity by the bird? Did the moorhens mob it together, or was it only the one pictured?

Saktipada Panigrahi
03-09-2012, 10:01 AM
Nice sequnce of images.
It is Indian rat snake (Ptyas mucosus). Being non-venomous, it swallows its prey live or after killing it by pressure of jaws and boby. It is a threat to the chick but not to the adult Moorhen. But will it venture to do so in water?
May be that the snake was on a reconnaisance mission.
I find the waterbody shallow.Two male rat snakes in coiled-up mode sometimes move into shallow water to test their strength in water as well.
I have never seen any confrontration between a duck and a rat snake in our large tank adjoining our ancestral house. Yes, it used to steal chicks on land.

Nothing is conclusive in Natural History. It develops through experience and how you absorb it every moment.

Therefore, if you have seen the moorhen giving cover to the chick by positioning itself between the chick and the snake or straightway attacking the snake, its a rare document.
Thanks for sharing.

Rajeev Khanna
03-09-2012, 12:08 PM
Dear saktipada ,
The moorhen clearly positioned herself between the snake and clumps of reeds behind her the other moorhens did not participate, The moor hen appeared to chase the snake without aggressively attacking it