'Crazy' snake behaviour during Aussie winter baffling catchers: 'Never seen that'

A snake catcher has described what he's currently seeing as 'bizarre'.

A snake tries to capture a stingray (left) and a snake devouring a bird (right).
An unusually warm winter has seen snakes out and about for longer and keen to fill their bellies. Source: TikTok/troopytrippinaus78/Supplied

An Aussie snake catcher is warning of "bizarre" behaviour among snakes amid an unseasonably active winter that's seen some reptiles go after the most outrageous prey. While the experts say the warmer conditions are also likely to launch an early start to the breeding season within weeks.

“It actually has been a crazy winter for more feeding activity, like the feeding hasn't stopped,” Brandon Gifford from Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 told Yahoo News Australia. “This week we've been called out to a guinea pig eaten, and the other day two birds and a rat got eaten.”

But it's been the rare scenes caught on camera that have left the catcher truly astounded.

In Brisbane recently a woman got the shock of her life when a neighbour knocked on the door of the Hemment home she was visiting to alert her to an unwelcome visitor.

When she went outside she saw a large coastal carpet python dangling from the roof while devouring a pigeon.

The snake eating the pigeon in a series of photos.
A snake was caught on camera devouring a pigeon in Brisbane. Source: Supplied

"I cant stand snakes," Joanne Kucks told Yahoo News Australia. "I'm absolutely petrified. They give me the shivers.

"It was nature at its finest, but just gross. I wont be going to my mate's place anytime soon. He doesn't mind it being there. We think it lives in the roof."

In another incident, tourists managed to capture a snake going after a sting ray in the Northern Territory, filming the reptile as it attempted to draw the creature's paralysed body onto dry land in East Arnhem.

“I’ve never seen that before in my life,” Gifford said, adding that it wasn't a traditional meal for a Bockadam, which live in mangrove estuaries lying in wait for food in the mud.

“Those water snakes up there, they obviously hunt in the water so they hunt fish, and I think in that situation it was just a mistaken identity. He would have just struck out thinking that it was a fish, but he wouldn’t have been able to get it down.”

He said it was similar to a carpet python grabbing a dog. “I think sometimes they're just locked and loaded for so long, and something walks past and they just, bang," he said. "They don't even think about it.”

Over-eager appetites can be attributed to the unusually warm weather, Gifford said, with sunny days and hotter temps drawing snakes out of their hiding places.

Usually by this point of the year, the reptiles are in brumation, which is a kind of hibernation except snakes will come out to bask in the sun from time to time. And because it's been hot enough for their bodies to digest foods, they've also been stopping off for a meal, which can only mean one thing.

“It’s already hot now and we’ve already got through the shortest part of the year," the Sunshine Coast snake catcher said. "So I'd say the breeding season will be up and running before we know it in early August, instead of September.”

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.