Video: Time-Lapse Video of a Bird’s Nest Has a Surprise Ending

June 13, 2016 | Erica Tennenhouse

Photo credit: Tan Nguyen

An uninvited guest arrives for dinner.

Tan Nguyen was hoping to capture the magical moment when a robin’s eggs hatched on video. He fixed a camera in the tree above the nest, and waited for nature to take its course.

But things took an unexpected turn when the robin tending to the four blue eggs flew off, and a black snake slithered its way up to the unguarded nest. The snake stretched its jaw and gulped down each of the eggs, one by one. The video ends there, so we can only imagine the reactions of the mom and dad on returning to an empty nest.

Predation is the leading cause of nest failure for most birds, and snakes are usually the culprits. Birds will staunchly defend their nests by pecking at the snakes, diving at them from the air, or even running around the snake with spread wings. However, the defenses rarely deter these persistent predators.

Furthermore, as this video shows, snakes will often stake out a nest and wait patiently until the feathery parent is momentarily absent before making their move.

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