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27 Birds That Kill Snakes (With Photos)

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As a general rule, snakes avoid birds. After all, birds are significantly faster and more agile than snakes. Plus, they have sharp beaks and talons that can injure or kill a snake. However, 27 bird species occasionally prey on snakes. Here is a list of some of the most common birds that kill snakes.


1. Bald Eagle

A majestic Bald Eagle perched on a branch.

Bald eagles are apex predators, meaning they sit at the top of the food chain. They primarily eat fish, but they are also known to kill snakes and small mammals. These birds mate for life, and they typically build their nests near water sources so that they can easily catch fish.

2. Barred Owl

A beautiful Barred Owl perched on a branch.

The barred owl is a nocturnal bird of prey found throughout North and Central America. Although they primarily hunt small mammals such as rodents and rabbits, barred owls will also kill and eat birds, reptiles, and even insects. These birds have even been known to kill and eat venomous snakes.

3. Brown Snake Eagle

A beautiful Brown Snake Eagle perched on a tree crown.

The Brown Snake Eagle is a large raptor that is found throughout Africa and Asia. These birds are known for their ability to kill and eat snakes, which makes them a vital part of the ecosystem. In addition to its diet of snakes, the Brown Snake Eagle also eats reptiles, rodents, and birds.

4. Burrowing Owl

An adorable Burrowing Owl perched on a wooden log.

Burrowing owls are mostly active at dawn and dusk, and they hunt for various small animals, including rodents, insects, and even reptiles. These birds have been known to kill and eat snakes, which is relatively rare among birds.

5. Chicken

A brown chicken standing on a green pasture.

There are a few different birds that are known to kill snakes, and chicken is one of them. While chickens aren’t specifically known for killing snakes, they will attack them if they feel threatened. Chickens have sharp claws and beaks that they can use to injure or kill a snake.

6. Common Crane

A tall, beautiful Common Crane standing on a meadow.

These birds are native to Europe and Asia and they have a reputation for being fierce predators. In addition to snakes, cranes will also hunt small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. They typically attack their prey by stomping or striking it with their sharp beaks.

7. Crested Caracara

A cool-looking Crested Caracara standing on rocky ground.

The Crested Caracara is a bold and fearless bird of prey known for its snake-killing abilities. The crested caracara is an intelligent bird known to use tools to help in its hunting. For example, the bird will drop stones on snakes to kill them.

8. Crow

A beautiful Crow standing on the ground.

The crow is a common bird found in North America. Crows are interesting birds because they can kill snakes and are incredibly intelligent. They can remember human faces and can even learn to speak human words.

9. Ducks

A bunch of Ducks in a meadow.

You may know Ducks for their webbed feet, which help them swim faster than most. But, did you know that ducks can also kill snakes? This is because they have sharp claws that can puncture the snake’s skin and they are also very good at swimming.

10. Eastern Screech Owl

A beautiful Eastern Screech Owl perched on a branch.

One of the most unique birds in North America is the Eastern Screech Owl. These small birds are known for their distinctive call, which sounds like a horse whinnying. They are also one of the few birds that eat snakes.

11. Geese

A bunch of Geeses on a meadow.

Birds are some of the most popular animals in the world, and geese are no exception. Although they are often considered pests, these birds can be quite helpful in preventing snake population growth. They can and will kill snakes if they feel threatened. They also have a reputation for being aggressive.

12. Golden Eagle

A majestic Golden Eagle perched on a rock.

The Golden Eagle is a magnificent bird of prey that can be found in North America, Central America, and parts of Europe and Asia. These birds are large, powerful, and skilled hunters, preying on small animals such as rodents, birds, and even snakes.

13. Great Blue Heron

A tall, beautiful Great Blue Heron walking in a swamp.

The Great Blue Heron is mostly gray with a white chest and belly. It feeds on fish, frogs, snakes, and small mammals. The Great Blue Heron is one of the few birds that will actively hunt and kill snakes.

14. Great Horned Owl

A beautiful Great Horned Owl perched on a wooden pole.

Great Horned Owls are powerful hunters, and they have been known to kill creatures as large as deer. These birds are also one of the few types of birds that regularly hunt and kill snakes.

15. Kestrel

A beautiful Kestrel perched on a branch with a blizzard in a beak.

The Kestrel is a small bird of prey with a large head, sharp talons, and powerful legs. These birds are found all over the world, and they are known for their hunting skills. Kestrels typically eat rodents and insects, but they will also kill snakes, lizards, and small birds.

16. Kookaburra

A cool-looking Kookaburra perched on a branch.

The kookaburra is a native bird of Australia that has earned a reputation for being one of the few birds that will kill snakes. The kookaburra is a member of the kingfisher family and is easily recognizable by its distinctive call, which sounds like laughter.

17. Laughing Falcon

A beautiful Laughing Falcon perched on a tree.

The laughing falcon is a large bird of prey that is found in the tropical forests of Central and South America. These birds are known for their unusual call, which sounds like a loud cackle, and their snake-hunting prowess.

18. Northern Goshawk

A beautiful Northern Goshawk standing on the ground.

The Northern Goshawk is a bird that kills snakes of prey in the hawk family, Accipitridae. This bird prefers wooded habitats but you can also find them in gardens, parks, and other human-altered areas.

19. Ostrich

Two adult Ostriches standing on a field.

The Ostrich is the largest and fastest bird in the world, able to reach a running speed of 45mph. It is also an interesting bird because it has some unique behaviors. For example, the Ostrich will often kill snakes by stomping on them.

20. Peacock

A beautiful Peacock standing in a meadow.

The peacock is a beautiful bird that is often associated with peace and calm. However, don’t let the looks fool you because these birds can kill snakes up to 10 feet long with their powerful beaks. Peacocks won’t eat snakes, but they will kill if necessary.

21. Red-Tailed Hawk

A beautiful Red-Tailed Hawk perched on a wooden pole.

Red-tailed hawks are known for being aggressive and successful hunters. They have been known to kill snakes, rabbits, squirrels, and even birds as large as Canadian geese.

22. Roadrunner

An adorable Roadrunner standing on a rock.

You will find the Roadrunner in the deserts of North America. It is an excellent runner and flyer and a fierce rival when it comes to snakes. The Roadrunner uses its sharp beak to puncture snakes and its strong legs to stomp them.

23. Secretary Bird

A cool-looking Secretary Bird standing on a field.

Secretary birds are unique in that they are one of the few birds that kill snakes. They will typically stomp on the snake to immobilize it and then strike it with their powerful beaks. This hunting style makes them particularly effective at killing venomous snakes.

24. Short-Toed Eagle

A beautiful Short-Toed Eagle standing on a rock.

The eagle has a short, hooked beak that is well-suited for tearing flesh. They also have powerful talons that help them to grip their prey, making them a fearsome competitor for snakes.

25. Stork

Two beautiful Storks standing in a nest.

The stork is a large bird, often associated with stories of delivering babies. In many cultures, people see the stork as a symbol of fertility and new life. However, the stork is also known for killing snakes.

26. Vulture

A bunch of big Vultures in the countryside.

You will often see Vultures feeding on animal carcasses, and they play a vital role in keeping ecosystems clean by reducing large amounts of rotting flesh from accumulating. However, vultures are not just scavengers. They are skilled hunters known to kill and eat snakes.

27. Wild Turkey

A bunch of Wild Turkeys standing on a green pasture.

Wild turkeys are not just the popular main dish for Thanksgiving. They are predators known to kill snakes, rodents, and other small animals. However, they are also omnivores, and they will eat berries, fruits, and seeds.

Wrapping Up

Learning about the different animals that kill snakes can help you be more prepared if you encounter one in the wild. While most birds will avoid them, there are a few species known to kill snakes. By understanding which birds are natural predators of snakes, you can better appreciate the delicate balance of nature.

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