Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Herpetological Review 39:4 (2008), p. 464.


Copyright © 2008 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Used by permission.


During a 25-year study of Cliff Swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) in southwestern Nebraska, we observed Terrapene ornata prey, or attempt to prey, on swallows. On one occasion as large numbers of birds flushed and hit the net, the weight of the birds pulled the net down to ground level. One T. ornata, which was seen regularly at the colony, approached one adult Cliff Swallow that was very low in the net and killed it by biting and eating its head. After killing the bird, the turtle walked away carrying the head.