Who keeps Blind Snakes as their pets?
Owls keep little snakes as their pets. Eastern screech owls bring blind snakes to their nests to rid them of larvae and parasites so their babies will grow faster and stronger. The snakes don’t seem to mind, because they hang around and eat like crazy until the nestlings hatch and then slither back down to find a new home underground.
Texas blind snakes can be found in arid grasslands and desert fringes as long as moisture and surface cover, such as rocks and logs, are available. They can be found from sea level to roughly 2100 m. Plant species that are prevalent in preferred habitat include yucca, cacti, and thornbush. It is common to find these snakes in prairie grasslands and oak-juniper woodlands, as well as on canyon bottoms and rocky hillsides. Texas blind snakes have been known to take advantage of water sources and compost piles common in suburban settings.
Puzzled by the owls' snake-sparing behaviour, the scientists studied their nests for a period of time. They found that while some of the blind snakes did get eaten by the owl chicks, most ended up burrowing into the debris at the bottom of the nest, where they would continue to live for days, out of sight – and beak – of the birds.
But there was more. Close inspection revealed that nests with snakes in them had far fewer bugs. It turns out the reptilian roomies weren't just surviving in their new digs – they were also finding food: