Good Snake Hunting

The other night when I was putting the young turkeys in the coop for the night I nearly stumbled upon a King snake hunting.  I had seen this snake before – about 3 feet long and brilliant with its sharp black and white stripes.  That night it was in the coopls investigating each mouse hole – looking for a meal.  I had the opportunity to watch it hunt and see how it investigated every place a mouse could hide.

My turkeys will attack and kill a rattlesnake when they see one.  Just the sight of a rattlesnake elicits sharp alarm calls from the hens and immediate action.  But the King snake was accepted – no alarm calls and no attacks.  Do the turkeys know its no threat?  Is there something about its color pattern – which looks so close to the color pattern of a male Narragansett’s flight feathers – that lets them know this snake is okay?

Just one of those animal mysteries.