Woodpeckers vs. Snake – Wildlife Standoff | Koaw Nature

Woodpeckers vs. Snake – Wildlife Standoff | Koaw Nature


So what happens when a five-foot snake enters the territory of North America’s second largest woodpecker? Well…stick around to find out! That was one of the coolest interspecific interactions I’ve ever seen out in the wild out here in Virginia. Don’t forget to subscribe and like and share this video with your friends. [ ♪ theme music ♪ ] [ stream trickling ] A large, adult northern black racer just swum across a stream in a gully. Unfortunately for the snake, it also entered into the territory of a mating pair of pileated woodpeckers. The male bird is first to respond to this big threat in the undergrowth. He moves closer with caution— using his beak to drum the branches around him as an intimidation tactic. You can distinguish a male pileated woodpecker from a female by examining the coloration extending from the bill to the throat. Males have a red coloration while this marking remains black on females. [ stream trickling ] This big woodpecker remains vigilant, keeping a close eye on the snake, not daring to venture too close. The two square off—waiting for the other to back down. The snake opts to remain very still, flinching from one of the woodpecker’s strikes on the fallen tree. [ stream trickling ] [ beak knocking wood ] It appears the snake has decided to retreat. But this woodpecker should not let his guard down. A strike! The snake’s lunge was blocked by an upturned branch— Though this snake is nonvenomous, any snakebite is always best to avoid. [ stream trickling ] [ beak knocking wood ] With a nest nearby, this male pileated woodpecker cannot allow the snake to stay. The snake begins to retreat from this area. You can hear the female has just arrived—calling to her mate. [ female woodpecker calling ] He’s a bit too preoccupied to respond. [ birds singing ] [ stream trickling ] [ birds singing ] [ stream trickling ] She seems to have understood the situation and joins her mate in ushering the snake away from their turf. The snake has disappeared under the fallen branches and undergrowth. The birds soon see it quickly slithering away in the tall grass. They work together to keep ushering it along until it is far enough away for them to be reassured and go about their day. Both the woodpeckers and the snake avoided any serious injury during this fascinating encounter. Okay so share this video! Other people should see that. That was so cool! Subscribing is free and easy. It was so cool to see that interspecific interaction between that mating pair of pileated woodpeckers and what I believe was a northern racer snake. Spread some knowledge. Be Nature-heroic! Cheers!

Randy Schultz

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3 thoughts on “Woodpeckers vs. Snake – Wildlife Standoff | Koaw Nature

  1. Koaw Nature says:

    It's just so nice to get outdoors…

  2. Sarah Larson says:

    Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this! I’m curious as to why the woodpecker did not try to strike the snake.

  3. will Martin says:

    Another great vid. That was awesome.Even more awesome was the fact that you were there watching it. Thanks for sharing. As always,much appreciated

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