A Chickadee recently constructed a nest of moss and animal hair in our front yard Bluebird box, and hatched some yellow-beaked chicks. When Bob and I had occasion to sit on the front porch, we would see her flying into the box with food, leaving with plump, white poop sacks.
But on Thursday, a pair of Bluebirds were taking turns sitting atop the the wooden house and fluttering over to the hole to peer inside. Every time I raised the binoculars to my eyes, I was afraid I’d see one of them enter the box, imagining that they had nefarious plans for those tiny, helpless hatchlings. Eventually I got on with my day and put the matter out of my mind.
The next day Bob and I stopped at the box during a lap around the yard. “Should I look inside?” he asked.
“I wouldn’t,” I said. I had read that Chickadees are far more easily disturbed than Blue Birds and I felt they had been traumatized enough.
He considered this for a moment before undoing the hook and eye latch.
We stood and gaped at the coiled black snake resting comfortably atop the soft nest, happily digesting away.
Without missing a beat, Bob reached into the box and tugged the nest out. The snake landed in a tangled pile and he stepped in close to snap a picture before it could sort itself out.
So ensued a standoff between man and beast.
The badassed black snake got organized, raising itself up in a startlingly aggressive manner.
He/she flattened his/her head into a triangle and thrummed its tail on the ground in order to appear more threatening.
And began to strike at my intrepid spouse.
At this point, we fetched a bucket, a lid, and a rake and Bob wrangled the snake inside.
And then I carried the bucket deep into the woods and released the irritated snake to start a new life far away from our Bluebird box.