ABSTRACT

Snakes represent a serious nest predator to birds. We describe detailed information about interactions between the White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus) and a nest predator, the Cantor’s Kukri Snake (Oligodon cyclurus) using video recordings. We observed a female White-rumped Shama defending its nest from a Cantor’s Kukri snake by pecking at it when it came within 1 m of the nest. One snake was driven away without consuming a nestling. Two subsequent visits by a larger snake also ended with the snake leaving, but in each attack the snake successfully consumed one nestling. In comparison to findings of an immediate response of other passerines fleeing nests upon snake incursion and subsequent anti-predator attacks, the female shama in this observation attacked the snake predator immediately at its first appearance at the nest.

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