The falcon’s ultimate һᴜпt! іпсгedіЬɩe photos show the life-and-deаtһ ѕtгᴜɡɡɩe when a red-tailed hawk searching for food was саᴜɡһt by a Western rat snake and could not survive (Video)

It was the circle of life and near-death at a Texas wildlife center when a hawk and a snake were spotted, caught in the midst of a life-or-death struggle.

A series of dramatic pictures posted on the Texas Parks and Wildlife-DFW Urban Wildlife’s Facebook page revealed the shocking moment when eagle-eyed children on a field trip encountered a western rat snake attempting to constrict to death a red-tailed hawk.

‘What an interesting turn of events!’ the wildlife organization’s post began, going on to note that the hawk and the snake spotted by seventh graders on a field trip at the Northwest ISD Outdoor Learning Area in Northlake, Texas.

Seventh graders on a field trip at a wildlife center were surprised by this life-or-death struggle in process between a western rat snake and a red-tailed hawk. The wildlife group posted the pictures on its Facebook page Monday

The Texas Parks and Wildlife-DFW Urban Wildlife organization said the surprising incident occurred in Northlake, Texas

‘Thinking that it was a dead bird AND dead snake, they notified the staff,’ according to the March 25 post. ‘After close inspection, both animals were still alive. One let go of the other (not sure which one let go first!), and the hawk flew off and the snake slithered away. What an experience!’

The Facebook post came alongside a series of three images, said to have been shot by an Outdoor Learning Center Coordinator called Amy, featuring close up details of the battle between the bird of prey and reptile.

In the images, the hawk can be seen frozen with its beak open and tongue out, as if screaming, while the snake has coiled the length of its body around the hawk, effectively pinning its wings in place so that it cannot fly away.

The snake’s upper half and jaws, however, are caught in the bird’s substantially-sized talons. In a particularly close-up shot, the snake can be seen with its jaws wide open, preparing to bite the webbing between the hawk’s talons.

Close-up photos of the hawk-and-snake struggle revealed that the bird was being strangled by the snake, which was trapped between the hawk’s talons. Neither animal appeared willing to let go for quite some time

The western rat snake can be seen here, coiled up with it’s jaws open, as if preparing to bite the hawk in the leg

Luckily for both hawk and snake, after attempting to squeeze each other to death for a suitable amount of time, they jinxed each other by crying uncle at about the same time, enabling them go on and die another day.

In a follow-up Facebook post that afternoon, the wildlife center appeared to have figured out who was the aggressor in the situation, noting, that the ‘life-or-death battle’ occurred ‘when a hawk tried to catch the snake, who wasn’t having it.’

‘The two were separated and their parents have been notified,’ Texas Parks and Wildlife-DFW Urban Wildlife cheekily concluded.

The post captured the attention of wildlife fans and has since gone viral, prompting people of wisecracks about the tight squeeze.

‘No, you hang up first! No you hand up! Ok, we’ll both hang up in 3, ready? 1, 2, 3!’ joked Facebook user Juan Negrete, while Hannah Ober wrote, ‘You let go first…No, You go first! Count of three….one…two…three…you DIDN’T let go! You didn’t either!!!’



Western rat snakes are said to be common prey for red-tailed hawks. The snakes have been proven to be able to overwhelm and eventually kill birds of prey when they’re attacked (file images)

The seventh graders were on a field trip at Northwest ISD Outdoor Learning Area in Northlake, Texas, when they saw the fight

‘Part of a “catch and release” program,’ user Harold Payne joshed.

‘The snake said you ain’t gonna have me on the front of a Mexico flag,’ Chris Chavetez wrote, referring to the fact that the country’s flag features an eagle with a snake in its beak and talons.

‘That wouldve made an awesome fossil a few million years from now,’ Bullock Marcus mused.

Western rat snakes are said to grow to be between three and a half to six feet long and are commonly preyed upon by red-tailed hawks. The snakes are said to be agile and have particularly muscular coils, which can allow them to overwhelm and even kill avian predators.

Red-tailed hawks can typically range from 18 to 24 inches long, with females being slightly larger than the males, while their wingspans can be as large as 4 feet 10 inches wide. The talons on their rear toes average about .95 to 1.32 inches long.