Eyes Too Big for its Stomach: Texas Rattlesnake Tries to Eat a Bird Whole

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Tony Maples Photography


Have your eyes ever been bigger than your stomach? One Texas rattlesnake certainly knows that feeling all too well. Members of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department came across an unusual, disturbing sight and managed to video it for us.

The video, shared on a TPWD Facebook page, shows a rattlesnake attempting to devour a cowbird, which is a kind of blackbird. Apparently, the snake had killed the bird, but then had a heck of a time actually eating it. Even when you can unhinge your jaw, serving size still matters!

Video: Facebook/Texas Parks and Wildlife – Panhandle Wildlife – TPWD District 2

As the TWPD noted in its Facebook post, “It’s not too often you see a rattlesnake eating a bird, this one somehow managed to catch a brown-headed cowbird.” The strange meal was recorded in Cottle County, located at the far eastern side of the Panhandle. It’s a remote area with just 1,500 souls in the county narrowly edging out the population of dust devils and tumbleweeds.

“Texas is home to over 105 different species and subspecies of snakes,” according to the TPWD. “Only 15 of those are potentially dangerous to humans.” The average length of a Prairie rattler, like the one featured in the video, is around three feet. Take note that the prairie rattle can often behave in an unpredictable manner, with some eager to strike, and others just wanting to slither off to safety.

Eyes Too Big for its Stomach: Texas Rattlesnake Tries to Eat a Bird Whole

Photo: Facebook /James Paul Morris

When striking, rattlers can extend a full third of their length, and to say that the strike is fast is a huge understatement. It takes only a fraction of second for them to strike, a blur of deadly motion. Once the venom is running through your veins, you’re in serious trouble and should seek medical help as soon as possible. Check out our tips on snake bite survival and myths for potentially life-saving info.