Even wildlife experts don’t see this every day.
They stumbled upon a rattlesnake trying to get its mouth around a whole bird that it had “somehow” killed and was having a tough time fitting into its face.
The video was taken in Cottle County, officials said in the comments section of the Facebook post. Cottle County is one of Texas’ dustier, more rural locales, with just over 1,500 residents, according to the 2010 census.
It sits at the eastern edge of the Texas Panhandle, about 120 miles northeast of Lubbock.
In the video, the snake shakes its rattler aggressively in celebration of its big catch. The lifeless cowbird is already in the process of decomposing as the prairie rattlesnake disconnects its jaw to try to slide the raptor into its belly, according to the Texas State Historical Association.
The brown-headed cowbird is a member of the blackbird family, and grows to about 7.5 inches. They are parasitic birds, meaning theye lay their own eggs in the nests of other birds.
The rattlesnake venom renders the prey motionless when it enters the bird’s body, but it also starts breaking down the tissue of the meal so that the snake is able to fit animals the size of birds in its mouth.
Prairie rattlesnakes are one of three species of rattlers that commonly make their presence known to humans in Texas, according to the Texas State Historical Association, though more than 10 species have been observed throughout the state. The prairie rattlesnake dominates the Texas Panhandle, the western diamondback is commonly seen in West Texas and eastern timber rattlesnakes are common in East Texas. And good news, snake fans.
The second breeding season of the year should be winding down soon, as rattlesnakes mate in the spring and summer, according to Live Science.
As for the snake caught on the camera, that one’s just concentrating on getting his really big meal home.
“Get out of his face,” Kristin Arnold said in the Facebook comments. “Do you like a camera in your face when eating?”