I recently remembered an old observation where I saw a California Kingsnake eating a Pacific Gopher Snake: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/28837086, and wanted to see if anyone else has seen any interesting interactions between different animals. (Doesn’t have to be predation, can be any amount of animals doing anything interesting).
A tropical kingbird chasing a northern shrike would have to be up there. That and a myotis, anna’s hummingbird and a dragonfly chasing each other.
Well, there’s this one.
Watching an African fish eagle catch, drag, kill and eat a pretty big water monitor was pretty wild. Actually, some of the most interesting stuff I’ve watched lately has been around my bird feeders, both competitive and predatory. I especially get a kick out of the interactions between hummingbirds and stinging insects. Some of those bees/wasps/hornets have serious attitude.
Nothing too rare, but once I tried to photograph Fiedfares but at the moment when I finally get close enough with proper lighting this happens. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/20166308
Also I remember a Raven, Hooded Crow and Magpie sitting on the same tree.
I’ve seen a lioness stalk a leopard at Etosha National Park - the leopard escaped. Electrifying experience!
At the same park roughly a decade later I watched an interesting interaction between an old elephant and a black rhino at the waterhole at one of the camps! That was a great night.
(I don’t have those photos on iNaturalist though. Not sure if there is any metadata on those lion/leopard photos)
I have seen some awesome fights between animals before. Last summer, a Chinese mantis killed a Ruby-Throated hummingbird. I witnessed a Great black backed gull kill a robin a few years ago. The best is… An alligator eating a Common Garder Snake and then choking, and vomiting it up.
It’s only rare in that I was only feet away when it happened, but I had the pleasure of witnessing a red tailed hawk snatch up a squirrel from my yard while I was out gardening. It didn’t even pause- it just swooped down, nabbed the squirrel, and flew off with the squirrel kicking and screaming the whole way.
I’ve also seen chickens fly up onto phone lines to try and evade hawk predation!
A hawk snatching a bat mid-air and then sitting on a guardrail to eat it.
A firefly slowly flashing as it was wrapped up by a spider.
A human (me) almost walking up to or into animals, including snakes, armadillos, skunks, deer, tree fox cubs, etc because I was looking at my phone (usually, with iNat open).
Earlier this summer I happened to see a red-tailed spider wasp dragging a large wolf spider. It was right along a busy walking path in my neighborhood. I know this is what they do but I’ve never seen that species before and I’ve never seen a spider-eating wasp with prey before. It dragged the spider several feet up a steep slope and underneath some rocks where I assume its burrow was hidden.
Wow, those are all very cool. I have only ever heard about praying mantises waiting at bird feeders and catching hummingbirds as if they were flies
Once I was walking around at dusk and I saw what had to be a large reddish-brown stag beetle (which can be a common species but is something I see very rarely) flying low overhead. I started chasing it hoping it would land somewhere so I could catch it, only for a bat to swoop from behind and snatch it from the air right in front of me.
On a trip to Arizona last year, I didn’t have much luck finding snakes, but I was lucky enough to hear something rustling in the grass that turned out to be a coachwhip swallowing a large whiptail. Still need to post that and other observations from that trip…
I watched an adult bald eagle relentlessly chase down and attack a juvenile. The adult drove the juvenile to the ground a few hundred feet from where I was standing and wouldn’t let it take off again. The adult dive-bombed, and the juvenile flipped upside-down on its back, talons up, to try to defend itself. Eventually it managed to get off the ground again and took off as fast as it could with the adult in hot pursuit. That’s what you get when you’re a kid bald eagle and you try to horn in on an adult’s territory, apparently. Interestingly, this was several miles away from the nearest large body of water, so it’s possible that the chase had been in progress for a while before I encountered it.
Many, many, many interactions to choose from, but watching this orca swim around with, and then eviscerate, and eventually eat the liver of, a white shark, surely ranks: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/18985348
A young sierran tree frog attempting to eat a young pacific newt, the latter one of the most toxic animals in North America. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/550227
Twice this year I have watched ruby-throated hummingbirds chase far larger birds. First, I saw one relentlessly dive-bombing a barred owl until the owl eventually left, and later I watched one chase a belted kingfisher away from near its nest. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of these occurrences, though. Also, a red-tailed hawk impressively catching a woodchuck in my meadow.
A pair of Eastern Phoebes “helping” raise Carolina Wren chicks.
I was once woken up in my tent to watch a Blue Jay and a Red Squirrel going at it. They were hopping/flying around a red pine next to me, but really just making a lot of noise and testing each other. Basically just a chest-pumping and shouting match haha
Not uncommon interaction, but as I pulled into the parking lot at work, I saw a hawk take another sizable bird (pigeon ?)
Maybe the time I saw a California king snake trying to eat an alligator lizard, but the lizard had bit down on the snake. They both just sat there, waiting for the other to give up. I think the snake won. Perhaps the best part was that our herpetologist neighbor was able to stop by and take a look with her PhD advisor who just happened to be there.
And this isn’t something I observed personally, but I love this video and it seems to fit well here.
Any pics of the Cali king eating the lizard?