Rare documentation in the Arava: songbirds flee from snake snakes

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He has clever tricks to disguise himself when he dawns on prey, but this time the songbirds did not fall into his trap – they huddled around the snake and made him retreat. ” In other cases, it could have ended quite differently. This is the wonderful way of wild nature, ” says Avner Rinot, who documented the rare moments

The portal system for agriculture, nature and the environment 30-07-2020

The Israeli desert provides nature lovers with exciting and special moments, but the next encounter is not seen every day: Avner Rinot, a surveyor in the Municipal Nature Surveillance Unit at the Society for the Protection of Nature and his friend Ravit Mask, documented songbirds. A python, well camouflaged on the desert ground, and finally manage to drive it away.

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“We were on our way to Eilat and stopped at a wadi rich in vegetation in the center of the Arava, to watch unique vegetation and animal activity and especially birds typical of the open desert. We arrived early in the morning and got to see a lot of desert birds searching for food and feeding the young, but one of our impressive observations that morning was “In a flock of songbirds of various species around a python, this desert snake excels in excellent camouflage colors and without the activity of the birds around it, we would not have noticed it at all,” says Rinot.


The Python Snake, Photo: Ravit Mask – Courtesy of the Society for the Protection of Nature

The python is a nocturnal snake that hunts mainly rodents and small reptiles in the dark. In the early morning, before entering a shady shelter to spend the hot hours of the day, he tends to look for small birds to prey on to diversify his food. When he finds a suitable site where there is bird activity, the python lurks for prey while attaching to the ground and stunning assimilation with the desert loess soil.

The porpoise is a clever ploy to attract birds to its proximity – while lying on the ground motionless, it moves the tip of its black tail that resembles a beetle, fly or other insect and thus attracts the attention of birds that may think it is potential prey. If the birds do not pay attention to the details, instead of prey, they may find the super predator who will not hesitate to swallow them whole.


Desert trumpet birds and fringed lark, Photo: Ravit Mask – Courtesy of the Society for the Protection of Nature

“In our case, the snake snake was spotted by the birds in the area, who crowded around it and in fact signaled to the other birds in the area that there was a danger,” says Avner Rinot. .

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