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Do snakes eat birds?

Snakes are one of the most opportunistic predators in the world. They want to eat things that will bring them a hearty meal, and the limitations are few. At least it seems that way.

The limitations of what a snake will eat depend upon what it can fit in its mouth. Remember that a snake does not have hands or paws, so it has no real way of cutting up the food and putting it in its mouth in much smaller pieces. It does not have paws so it cannot even hold the food in place and tear it apart with its teeth. Its body shape does not make this possible either, making it so that there is only one way to really eat the food – to swallow it whole.

That sounds pretty crazy, but this is the way that a snake has to take in its meal. It must take in the entire organism, and then let its digestive tract do the rest. It is the configuration of the digestive tract and the enzymes that are inside that do all the work.

It is not done quickly either. It is not like the snake swallows a rat, and digestive juices pour into its stomach like some kind of car wash. This digestive process can take many hours, days even depending upon the size of the animal that was eaten. The larger the animal the longer it will obviously take to digest.

This is why it depends on the size of the animal if the snake will eat it or not. If it cannot get it into its mouth then it cannot eat the animal. While its digestive tract can expand quite a bit, and it can even open its mouth quite large, a bear is not fitting in the mouth of most snakes. There are some limitations. However, a bird is not one of those limitations. Unless you are talking about a small garden snake trying to eat a sea gull, most snakes will find a bird to be a tasty treat. The eggs of birds are commonly eaten by these reptiles. They will go into a bird’s nest and take those eggs without any issue, because most birds cannot defend themselves against a snake. Eagles, owls, and hawks can, but most others cannot.

If you consider the smaller sized birds there are no doubt that virtually every kind of snake will eat them. They make a perfectly sized meal, and are easy to digest. This makes it a spectacular meal option. A snake can leap out of its hole or out of the ground and snatch up a bird in not time, and within seconds it can be neutralized and be in the digestive tract. Read more: Snake Control, Venomous Snakes of Florida, How to Identify Snakes, How to Kill Snakes.

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