A snake steals an egg from a pair of protective birds only to realize it may have bitten off more than it could chew.
27-year-old field guide Frank De Beer was lucky enough to capture this bizarre moment on camera. He shared the incredible story and footage with LatestSightings.com.
“We were sitting next to a water hole, enjoying a hot cup of coffee, and admiring the views. As we were busy packing up, I heard a pair of very unhappy Blacksmith Lapwings. They were mobbing something on the ground. I immediately thought snake!”
Blacksmith lapwings are a common sight in the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa. They are named after their distinctive metallic calls, which sound like the ringing of a blacksmith’s hammer on an anvil. These birds are territorial and fiercely protective of their nests, which they build on the ground in open spaces.
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“As we approached the scene of commotion, I saw the snake slithering with intent in the direction of the lapwings. A common egg eater. These snakes are famous for their ability to swallow eggs whole as this forms a major part of their diet.”
“The lapwings went into attack mode, swooping down to peck at the egg eater and drive it away. However, the egg eater was persistent and agile, dodging their attacks and slithering towards the nest. It was clear that the lapwings were in for a tough fight.”
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“The egg eater soon reached the nest, and we held our breath as it began biting at one of the lapwings’ eggs. The lapwings continued to attack, but they were no match for the quick and elusive egg eater. Within seconds, the snake was able to grab an egg.”
“Then, with an egg in its mouth, the snake began slithering away in one of the most comical and bizarre manners I have ever seen. Mesmerized by what was unfolding in front of me and my guests, I was just ecstatic that I was able to capture it all on film”
“The snake eventually disappeared into the thickets to get out of the open. Leaving the lapwings to mourn their loss. It was also very vulnerable where it found the egg at first. We didn’t get to see the snake swallow the egg in its entirety, but let’s just say I have seen more pangolins than common egg eaters eat eggs. That is how rare a moment this was for me.”
While it may seem unfair that the egg eater was able to steal the lapwing’s egg, it’s important to remember that in the wild, survival is all about adapting to your environment and taking advantage of any opportunity that presents itself.