What birds eat snakes? 

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “what birds eat snakes?”. We will discuss how eagles consume snakes and what other birds have the ability to kill snakes. In the end, we will understand how birds kill snakes without being bitten.

What birds eat snakes? 

There are a variety of birds that consume snakes, such as owls, eagles, and secretary birds. 

Snakes are a favorite prey for eagles, particularly sea snakes. In addition to innocuous garden snakes, they also consume cobras and pythons. 

Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles, making them simpler for eagles to trap than mammals that can run away. Eagles are carnivores, meaning they only consume meat as food. 

How do eagles consume snakes?

It grabs its victim with its huge talons, flies it to safety, and then eats it. It can consume tiny and medium-sized animals including rabbits, squirrels, and prairie dogs because of its muscular legs and sharp talons.

As with other predators, eagles aren’t always the best at selecting the healthiest meals. Birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and small mammals are just some of the prey that eagles devour. The food available in the eagle’s environment determines what it eats.

Eagles that inhabit tropical areas have access to a more diverse array of food sources compared to their counterparts who inhabit polar or antarctic zones. Their food choices are also affected by how big their territory is and how many other eagles live there.

What other birds have the ability to kill snakes?

There are so many carnivorous birds that consume snakes easily, some of them are as follows: 

Red-tailed Hawks

The red-tailed hawk stands out as a natural predator because of its ability to follow snakes and hunt them. 

Red-tailed hawks have superior eyesight, giving them the advantage. Red-tailed hawks follow their prey from above, making it impossible for a snake to detect the owl.

A red-tailed hawk will ambush its victim by swooping down and passing directly over the snake at some point. Before the snake has a chance to react, the hawk has already descended to a level where it can easily catch the snake and carry it away into the distance.


Due to the fact that many snakes burrow underground during the day, owls have an edge over snakes in their ability to hunt at night. Nighttime is when snakes come out to find food, and that’s when owls come out to hunt. 

Since snakes depend so largely on smell to locate their food, they may not even be aware that the owl is keeping watch from high in the tree.

It’s possible that a snake might smell an owl from a distance, but the owl would normally swoop down and grab the snake before it could reach the nearest hiding spot.

Laughing Falcons

The vast majority of falcons do not seek snakes for food, nor do they consider them to be a particularly tasty treat. Falcons share the same benefits as snake eagles, but unlike those other birds, they have little desire in eating snakes.

The odd one out of the bunch is the bird that is chuckling. Laughing falcons take great pleasure in taking down snakes and are capable of consuming even the most venomous snakes without suffering any negative effects.

Old tales are called laughing falcons angel healers because they kill and consume deadly snakes without becoming sick.

Secretary Birds

These carnivorous birds crush their victim to death. This tactic is often used by secretary birds against bigger prey, but it is particularly effective against snakes for obvious reasons.

After the snake stops moving, probably because it has been squashed to death, the secretary bird eats it.

How do birds kill snakes without being bitten?

Snakes do not have fangs, but they do have teeth. They have small, not very sharp teeth. On the flip side, their tongues are equipped with poison glands. Snakes would attack their adversaries’ eyes or noses with such glands if they feel threatened in order to venomously inject themselves into their bodies.

The most prevalent method of snake death at the hands of birds is a sharp jab from the animal’s own beak. Birds have an excellent sense of smell and can distinguish between innocuous small mammals like mice and snakes as well as lizards and frogs. 

The snake probably won’t feel much pain if you hit it in the head from a safe distance. Grabbing a snake by its tail is the most effective method for dispatching it. The majority of snakes have long, slender spines on their tails. However, sometimes a bird may be bitten by a snake. 


In this brief article, we answered the question “what birds eat snakes?”. We discussed how eagles consume snakes and what other birds have the ability to kill snakes. In the end, we understood how birds kill snakes without being bitten.


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