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Photos of a Gopher Snake Swallowing Dove Eggs

These photos were taken on our porch in Wickenburg in mid-May. I hope you enjoy them.

Snake Climbing a WallWhen I first spied the snake, it was climbing a tall cactus on our porch, attempting to reach a sleeping bat.

When it couldn’t reach the bat (probably because of lack of support), it reversed its course toward a potted plant on a stand below. A mourning dove nest with two eggs was sitting in this pot. The incubating parent dove had already flown away, with no attempt to protect the nest. It may have been doing the typical “broken wing” routine at a distance to distract the predator, but I didn’t notice this.

The snake swallowed both eggs in rapid succession, and then slowly crawled down and away. I was able to follow it to a hole in the ground about 50 feet away. I haven’t seen the snake since.

Snake eating dove eggs
Snake eating dove eggs
Snake eating dove eggs
Snake eating dove eggs
Snake eating dove eggs
Snake eating dove eggs

2 comments to Photos of a Gopher Snake Swallowing Dove Eggs

  • Edward J Smith Sr.

    I have been reading much about Wickenburg over the last 6 months, and although I’ve never had the oppertunity to visit your town, I seem to be drawn to it. We are in the process of selling our home here in New Jersey, and when we do, we will be exploring the idea of moving there, at any rate , we will be moving to Arizona. I’m really taken with the idea of living in a small town, where I will never be cold, or have snow to shovel again.
    I look forward to being there.

    Ed & Maryann Smith

  • […] The snake had climbed the cactus to investigate the two nests on the southwest side. Woodpeckers and other birds sometimes dig holes in the sides of saguaro cacti and build nests there. This morning, I’d seen a Gila woodpecker sitting at the opening to the topmost nest. This afternoon, a snake was climbing out of it. He’d obviously been looking for a meal, but if he found one, it couldn’t have been too large; there was no sign of a hastily swallowed egg or chick along his long, skinny body. Arizona snakes commonly eat bird eggs; Martha Maxon sent a great series of photos of a Gopher Snake swallowing Dove Eggs for publication on wickenburg-az.com. […]