Snake Spotted Eating Bird Eggs by Woman Having Morning Coffee

An Arizona woman spotted a snake eating dove eggs just above her head while she sat outside with a morning coffee.

The coachwhip snake was spotted by Petra Poole in central Arizona, who captured footage of the find. The snake had been lurking right above her head in a bird's nest.

Snakes and egg
A stock photo shows a snake and a chicken egg. A snake in Arizona was spotted feasting on dove eggs. Neurone89/Getty Images

She posted the footage to a Facebook group, Arizona Outdoors The Valley, with the caption: "So, I was sitting outside drinking my coffee and this happens."

The Arizona Game and Fish Department reposted the video with the caption:
"Our group member Petra P. was enjoying her morning coffee when she suddenly saw someone else having breakfast time, too! This Coachwhip was making a little meal of some dove eggs."

In the footage, the coachwhip snake can be seen swallowing one of the dove eggs whole. It appears to be double the size of its head, but the snake eventually manages to swallow the egg.

Snake Spotted Eating Bird Eggs by Woman Having Morning Coffee
In the footage, the coachwhip snake can be seen swallowing one of the dove eggs whole.

A second video shows the snake slowly slithering away, after it has finished its meal. Poole angles the camera inside the nest to find that the snake left one egg untouched.

Poole told Newsweek that she usually sits outside to enjoy her morning coffee.

"I have put up hanging plant baskets, in the spring doves and sometimes quail take over the baskets to build nests. On that particular morning we missed the snake going in the basket the first time but it caught my eye on its way out and I took the first video, it just hung out in the firestick plant," she said. "I went back inside to get another coffee and I saw the snake returned for the second egg and I started taking another video."

Snakes can swallow prey that appears larger than them by increasing their jaw width. Once a snake has swallowed the prey, it will move down the esophagus with saliva and be digested slowly. Snakes have a powerful digestive system that allows them to break down large prey.

Coachwhip snakes are a non-venomous snake species, native to the southern United States. They can be found from North Carolina to central California, in deserts, grasslands, prairies, and woodlands.

On average they are about 3 to 5 feet long. In rare cases, they can grow up to 8 feet.

The snakes are most active in the morning and late afternoon. Though non-venomous, the snakes can be aggressive. While they will most likely retreat and hide instead of striking, they have been known to bite if picked up or provoked.

Poole said she had never seen a coachwhip before. Although they can be aggressive snakes, Poole said "this one just wanted its breakfast."

"Since we are living at the base of south mountain we have the privilege of seeing lots of different wildlife."

Dozens of social media users commented on the Facebook post. One Facebook user, C. David Fernandez said Poole had captured a "big moment."

Another user, Amy Burnett said: "Wow! Lucky you for getting to see this! Coachwhips are awesome."

Coachwhips snakes favor a diet of insects, lizards, other small snakes, rodents and birds.

Snake season in Arizona is in full swing. Snakes are most active in the warmer months from March to October. As the weather warms, snake sightings become more frequent as the cold-blooded reptiles rely on heat to keep their bodies moving and digesting properly.

This article has been updated to include quotes from Petra Poole.