A rat snake wanted this hen turkey's eggs, so she did what any mother would do to protect her young.
Oklahoma-based outdoorsman Jackson Wheat was walking through the woods when he came upon one of the most amazing scenes that a hunter might see: a hen turkey in a fight to the death with a rat snake over her nesting site.
Being that rat snakes are non-venomous, the turkey was not in serious danger from the reptile, but when you see the snake aggressively biting that bird, you can almost feel the pain yourself. Normally, the black rat snake is a good thing to have around because of all the rodents that it can eat. For a turkey hunter, this scene may have you re-thinking that.
For now, all you can do is watch and see if the hen will prevail over this egg-eating menace.
Incredible footage of a hen turkey protecting her nest. I walked up on this going through the woods. The determination that hen had was unreal. The snake was biting her every time she’d peck at him. She had incredible fight in her and ultimately won the battle. Amazing to see Mother Nature in the raw. This is what keeps me in the woods!
Posted by Jackson Wheat on Thursday, May 7, 2020
Never mistake the ferocity of a mother to protect her children. In fact, that snake never stood a chance. It obviously picked the wrong nest to attack!
If you're curious as to just how a skinny little rat snake could ever tackle a big turkey egg, then take a look at this:
Rat snakes are more of a mid-western reptile, ranging from Louisiana all the way northwards to Missouri and parts of Nebraska. They are generally black on a lighter background, often with a hint of orange or a reddish color, that can be found in southern Oklahoma and Texas
Rat snakes are excellent climbers and are sometimes found in trees, overhangs, and even in the attic. Sometimes called the pilot snake, rat snakes are also prone to be eaten by red-tailed hawks, minks, and even other snakes before they mature.
These constrictors themselves prefer a variety of prey including frogs, mice, rats, chipmunks, and even young rabbits, but since they climb so well, cavity nesting birds, and especially their eggs, are always on the menu.
For a ground nesting bird like the turkey, a rat snake can decimate a wild turkey nest in short order, giving that hen a very good reason to utterly destroy it.