Bitter deadlock between a snake and three curlews

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Tense showdown between a python and three brave curlews as they desperately defend their chick to be eaten

  • A python threatened a family of curlews and they spread their wings protectively
  • They protected their young from the snake, which did not flinch
  • A snake expert said pythons will attack and eat baby bushes

Incredible footage shows the moment when three brave curlew birds inflated their feathers to protect their baby from a giant python.

The standoff was filmed by Tash Cotter in Dripstone, near Darwin in the Northern Territory, who marveled at the stubborn animals.

“Fierce protective parent team here,” the caption read.

Curlew versus snake

How brave are these curlews ?! 😲🐍 Look at this distance between a snake and a group of curlews near Dripstone, NT. “Fierce protective parent squad here” ❤️ 📹 Tash Cotter (@tashysgirls), thanks for sharing!

Posted by ABC Darwin on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Pictured: The moment when a python moved towards a group of curlews in the Northern Territory

Pictured: The moment when a python moved towards a group of curlews in the Northern Territory

In the video, which was shared by the ABCthe snake could be seen sliding down a road towards the family of four curlews.

While one bird chased the baby behind the flock and was out of harm’s way, another stood in front of the snake, spreading her wings protectively.

The other two adult curlews joined her, spreading their wings and puffing their feathers to create a wall between the python and the young.

Pictured: three curlews fiercely protecting their young from being eaten by a python

Pictured: three curlews fiercely protecting their young from being eaten by a python

STONE-CURLEW BIRDS OF THE BUSH IN AUSTRALIA

The Bush Stone curlew, or Bush Thick-knee, is a large, slender, mainly nocturnal, ground-dwelling bird.

They have a varied diet, but prefer to feed on insects, mollusks, small lizards, seeds, and small mammals.

They used to be common, but the population has declined due to habitat loss and predation by foxes and feral cats.

Bush Stone curlews can be found all over Australia.

Source: Birds in Backyards

The snake showed no signs of deterioration and slithered within inches of their feet, but the birds remained fierce.

As the python continued to move towards them, the family darted aside while still protecting the baby bird.

Viewers were impressed by the brave display and shared their own experiences with curlews.

‘When I went to Cairns, there was a curlew every morning that accompanied me for breakfast. He walked right in and sat down at the table, ‘wrote one woman.

“That’s a brave snake … never mess with a curlew!” said another.

“You don’t want to mess with those birds in their nesting place, they attacked me there once,” shared someone else.

Snake expert Tony Morrison, who owns it Redland’s Snake Catcher in Queensland, the Daily Mail told Australia that the snake’s behavior is not uncommon.

“A python would love to eat a curlew,” he said.

Bush curlews are usually not aggressive, but will fight to protect their eggs and young.

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