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Eastern Bluebird Provisions Nestlings with Flat-Headed Snake

Shelby C. Braman and Darrell W. Pogue
The Wilson Bulletin
Vol. 117, No. 1 (Mar., 2005), pp. 100-101
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20060062
Page Count: 2
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Abstract

There are few published reports of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) taking vertebrate prey or provisioning their young with vertebrates. We report finding a dead flat-headed snake (Tantilla gracilis) in an Eastern Bluebird nest. Flat-headed snakes feed primarily on soft-bodied invertebrates; thus, it is unlikely that the snake was attempting to depredate the bluebird nestlings. Moreover, flat-headed snakes are fossorial and rarely occur in open habitats. Therefore, the snake was most likely captured by one of the adult bluebirds and brought to the nestlings as a food item.

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