Readers’ wildlife photos (and videos)

Reader Andree Sanborn (flickr site here, FB page here) sent a series of photos taken by her daughter.  It shows nature red in tooth and mouth, so be warned. Andree’s notes:

My 2nd daughter, Amelia Michaud, is the manager of the Frontier Animal Society in Orleans, VT. She is crazy busy and never posts her nature sightings but has given me permission to do so. While out walking dogs on August 17, 2017, she captured this drama of a Garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) eating an American toad (Anaxyrus americanus). I’m so glad she had her phone with her. These may be gruesome sights for some  — just be warned. It is something most of us will never see again. And I swear that in one video you can hear the toad vocalizing (it seems amazingly calm, if one can use that word to describe its state of mind).

And there’s a video playlist of this event (7 short clips), which you can see here. Start with this one and they’ll play sequentially (not in the order of swallowing, though!):


  1. jaxkayaker
    Posted December 4, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink


  2. Karen E Bartelt
    Posted December 4, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Well, snakes have to eat, too!

  3. Heather Hastie
    Posted December 4, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Wow! Amazing! What a sight!

    Very cool indeed.

  4. busterggi
    Posted December 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    hate to see two of my back yard friends not getting along.

  5. Christopher
    Posted December 4, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    As a kid I once caught a red-sided garter snake which promptly barfed up the American toad it had just eaten, which I hadn’t noticed since I couldn’t see the head when I caught it, the toad’s “screaming” was what alerted me to the snake. It was rather unpleasant to witness, I must admit.

    • Posted December 4, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      wow. I’m glad I didn’t see this. I probably would have tried to save the toad. But on the other hand, I read an account by a naturalist somewhere (and of course I can’t remember where or who) who did rescue one and it did not end well at all.

  6. rickflick
    Posted December 4, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    This big gulp seems backwards. You’d expect the snake to swallow the toad head first. I think most predators that swallow whole – that would include birds like herons and egrets – are always careful to rotate the pray for best enjoyment. Nice capture of an interesting phenomenon.

  7. Posted December 4, 2017 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    And God said, “Thou shalt not record vertical video.”

    Certainly a fascinating sight.

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