How would like to look out your window and spot a snake wrapped around your hummingbird feeder?  This is just what recently happened to Upson County blogger Wanda Granitz.

       Needless to say, the rat snake dangling from her feeder was not visiting to partake in a sip of nectar.  It was attempting to grab a hummingbird or two. 

       Like most predators, snakes are very opportunistic.  Whenever they locate a concentration of prey, they will try to take advantage of the situation whether they find an abundance of frogs, insects, mice, or hummingbirds.

       There are many other critters that capture hummingbirds.  These predators include bullfrogs, hawks, shrikes, cats, praying mantises, spiders, and others.  However, aside from cats we rarely see hummingbirds capture one of these flying jewels.

       Fortunately, for hummingbirds and their devoted fans, the unnerving sight of a snake curled around a feeder is not common.  If you are like me, you have never witnessed anything like this in your yard.  In fact, in all the years I worked as a wildlife biologist, I received only a handful of reports of snakes trying to feed on hummingbirds visiting a feeder.

       However, if you do happen to spot a rat snake on your hummingbird feeder, one of the best things you can do to protect the hummers is capture the snake and move it some distance from your home.  Do not simply release it elsewhere in your yard.  If you do, chances are it will return to dine on these flying delicacies at a later time.


  1. I live in southern Mexico and I saw a juvenile Mexican spiny-tailed iguana eating a hummingbird on the windowsill next to a feeder. I of course chased it away and then had to chase it away from two other feeders within the next two days (it’s missing part of its tail so it’s easy to spot). Since then, I’ve seen the lizard around but never near a feeder.

    I’ve also had a problem with Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl predation. I’d seen them in the tree next to my house almost daily for years and I only recall one attempt to hawk a bird from a feeder. That is, until a pair of them fledged in the same tree – and grew up surrounded by hummingbirds. Since then, I’ve seen the owls take over ten hummingbirds 🙁

  2. I too was a little taken aback yesterday when trying to clean and refill my feeders I almost walked into a snake that was hanging in a bush by one of the feeders.The hummingbirds love the feeders that are in a row of Red Fotina bushes I have. I thought then snake was dead but when I shook the Bush it moved just a little. I am not a snake hater, but I am NOT a snake lover! I am on the other hand a hummingbird fanatic! So I am definitely keeping an eye out for that guy!!!

    • Laurie,
      That would startle anybody. Hopefully the snake did not catch a hummer. If it has fed there, chances are it will come back for a second helping.


  3. Yesterday a 4′ rat snake curled around and dangled down the hanging chain of our Hummingbird feeder – quite a sight. Ended up getting rid of it permanently as we didn’t want to see a backyard battle and we didn’t want our cat getting into the fray.

  4. I walked outside this morning to find a 4 foot snake hanging from my bushes and wrapped around a feeder. I did not think it was poisonous so I just scared it off! I live in North Mississippi.

  5. I had the unfortunate discovery of a water snake wrapped around our hummingbird feeder. I was able to knock it off but it had already made a meal of one of the hummers. About a week later, it returned and caught another but it was his last meal, I was not so gracious the second time around.

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