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hazelrunpack April 18th, 2010 08:21 PM

Snake ID please (TeriM and breeze take note--Snake photos)
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hazel was in the blind today, photographing birds. Between spates of bird activity at the feeders, she unzips the side windows of the blind for a little air and sits in her chair for a break.

On one such break, she was lookin' out the window and suddenly noticed Ms Macie stalking something on the other side of the fence. Ms Macie's target seemed to be in front of the blind...which was not one of the open sides. Figuring there must be some doves under the feeders on that side, hazel stood up, stuck the lens of the camera out and saw:


Nope. Not a dove. :eek: :laughing:

hazelrunpack April 18th, 2010 08:26 PM

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It was about 18 to 20 inches long and heading toward the blind. Since hazel like snakes, but not well enough to share a small space with one that big, she unzipped the front and stepped out to get some close-ups.

I'm thinking this is an eastern hognose. It was trying to convince me it was powerful and dangerous with the hood flare, but instead of rearing up to face me like a cobra, it tilted it's back to me to show me the magnificent breadth of its back! :D Very lovely, but not very intimidating.


When it realized it wasn't trapped, it just slithered off into the brush.


I've seen teeny hognose snakes before but never one this big. So I'm just making an educated guess that that's what this was.

Anyone know any differently? :o

Dee-O-Gee April 18th, 2010 08:33 PM

O...M....G....Heebie Jeebies! :eek:

Any snake looks like a king cobra or python to me, but these are great close ups Hazel. Too close for my liking. :o Did Ms. Macie get really close to it?

hazelrunpack April 18th, 2010 08:39 PM

Nah...she was a good 30 ft away by the time I saw it. I'm pretty sure it's an eastern hognose and nonvenomous. If she'd caught up to it, likely it would have rolled over and played dead. :p (no really...that's what they do!...leastwise when they're wee little baby snakes they do :D)

Frenchy April 18th, 2010 08:43 PM

hoooooooooly macaroni !! I like snakes but not when their heads go flat like that :eek:

hazelrunpack April 18th, 2010 08:48 PM

It was trying very hard to look dangerous. :D Pretty impressive flare on the hood, but it needs to practice its cobra stance. A cobra would have been bopping around face forward, mouth open with tongue testing the air. This guy just flared, then tilted the back of his head toward the camera to show me what an impressive dude he was. :rolleyes:

Still, he was big enough that I really wouldn't have been too happy had he slithered into the blind with me, so I'm happy Ms Macie was lookin' out for her ol' Ma. :D

Dee-O-Gee April 18th, 2010 08:49 PM

[QUOTE=hazelrunpack;909436]likely it would have rolled over and played dead. :p (no really...that's what they do!...leastwise when they're wee little baby snakes they do :D)[/QUOTE]

If Gryphon would have spotted a snake playing dead, he's be rolling all over it. :yuck: Seriously...a snake that plays dead? :shrug: Interesting...:cool:

Frenchy April 18th, 2010 08:53 PM

[QUOTE=klmccallum;909446]If Gryphon would have spotted a snake playing dead, he's be rolling all over it. :yuck: Seriously...a snake that plays dead? :shrug: Interesting...:cool:[/QUOTE]

I saw a show on Animal Planet where they showed a couple of animals/species that do play dead as defense mechanism , pretty cool !

What a good girl Macie is ! :thumbs up

hazelrunpack April 18th, 2010 09:26 PM

Cole once found a little one (about 6 inches long) in the basement yard. When I saw him messin' with something I ran over and found looked absolutely dead. Upside down, jaw slightly askew, tongue hanging out...the whole kit and kaboodle. Poor little hognose snake, right? :rip:

Nope... :D I picked it up and tried to roll it on its stomach so I could look at the body. It's response was to roll belly up again, hang its jaw open a little wider and stick out its tongue even further. So as to look even deader, don't ya know :laughing: If it had hissed, "Dang it lady, what's your problem? Can't you see I'm dead!?!?" it would have been perfect! :laugh:

So I put it in the grass, removed the dogs, and by the time I came back it had slithered off. :D

Dee-O-Gee April 18th, 2010 09:35 PM

[QUOTE=Frenchy;909452]I saw a show on Animal Planet where they showed a couple of animals/species that do play dead as defense mechanism , pretty cool !


Kinda like Kill-Dear Birds. If you go near their nests which they stupidly home on gravel or stones, they act like their wings are broken. :shrug: We have kill-dears around my office and every year, we're out there putting up stakes to make sure no one drives over the nests. :yell:

hazelrunpack April 18th, 2010 09:50 PM

Then, on the other side of the coin, are the turkeys. Now they can be really stupid... The hen has a specific call that means "I'm on the nest and there is danger approaching!" I can't tell you how many times I've passed turkey nests, totally oblivious to their presence until the hen starts telling me "I'm on the nest and there is danger approaching!" :rolleyes: hazel just doesn't get how telling potential predators that they're close to the nest can [I]possibly[/I] be an effective defense. :o Luckily, the dummies breed turkeys. :laughing: Big broods! Lots of them...

MyBirdIsEvil April 18th, 2010 09:59 PM

It's definitely a hognose, they're no other native snake with a nose like that that flares up like a cobra.

I've never seen one like that though. They generally have a distinctive pattern. I would assume he was ready to shed, therefore the pattern was dulled, if it wasn't for the extremely clear eyes, so that leads me to believe he's just like that. Kind of wonder if it's not a subspecies or something.

hazelrunpack April 18th, 2010 10:09 PM

I have a north american wildlife book that mentions that they're extremely variable in color, some of them being monotone. I'm thinking it may have just finished shedding--there[I] were [/I]a couple of loose scales on his nose but the eyes are clear. :shrug:

MyBirdIsEvil April 18th, 2010 10:55 PM

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The closer I look he does kind of have a pattern. It's just extremely light and blends in to the rest of his body.

Still, he's very pretty. I haven't seen one exactly like that. I've never even seen one in the wild though, just captive.

Since there's already snakes in this thread and you seem to like them, here's a couple of mine. Not sure if I've shared them before.

First is a cottonmouth. Venomous pit viper. Not a very good pic because it was from the phone, didn't have my camera with me at the time.

Second is a broadbanded watersnake. Very common around here and non-venomous. They're curious and they'll look at you from the water.

Third is a mississippi mudsnake. Very rare and docile, they absolutely do NOT bite. Their defense is to either play dead by rolling into a hoop shape and turning over (this is why they're also called a hoop snake), or bash into you with their head (:laughing: this one did the latter, it has to be the worst defense mechanism ever. I don't think it would deter a predator.)
The belly is very colorful orange. Unfortunately this one left before I could get a good pic of the belly.

hazelrunpack April 18th, 2010 11:08 PM

Nice pics! The last two are beautiful! Love the banding on the watersnake! (I find water moccasins to be too drab for my tastes :laughing:)

I've seen orange bellied snakes here...but I'm not sure if they're the same as the one you show. The ones here have solid orange bellies, but the Mississippi mudsnake looks like it may have a banded black and orange belly? Or is that pattern only on the sides and the belly is monotone orange? Very pretty snake, though!

MyBirdIsEvil April 18th, 2010 11:14 PM


Someone elses pic. That's what their belly looks like. It's kind of a checkered pattern.

Mud snakes I don't think range up that far north. The most likely snake you would encounter with an orange or yellow belly is a ringneck snake. Were they small and grey? They like mulchy areas.


There are actually some very beautiful cottomouths. We encountered one that had beautiful reddish brown bands. Unfortunately I didn't get a close look because it decided we were in its territory and when it started swimming at me aggressively I left :laughing:.

hazelrunpack April 18th, 2010 11:18 PM

It could have been a ringneck. The last time I saw one was about 20 years ago, and all I remember is the beautiful orange belly. :o

[QUOTE=MyBirdIsEvil]There are actually some very beautiful cottomouths. We encountered one that had beautiful reddish brown bands. Unfortunately I didn't get a close look because it decided we were in its territory and when it started swimming at me aggressively I left :laughing:.

Well, you know, discretion is said to be the better part of valor! :D Sounds like you made a good choice there. :laughing:

growler~GateKeeper April 19th, 2010 01:08 AM

Hazel your hognose has a very nice hood :lovestruck:

MBIE great pics :cool:

The closest I've come to a snake is behind glass at the zoo and at a reptile rescue

Goldfields April 19th, 2010 04:05 AM

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Same as I look at our Brown snake and marvel how can a snake with such a small head be the snake here that causes the most human deaths, I also wonder how a snake as cobra-like as that hognose can be harmless? The bend in this Brown's neck is the signal that it's going to strike.
I am loving this thread, your snakes are really beautiful. Unfortunately, although our Brown is protected, we are allowed to kill them if they pose a threat to us or stock, and they do because they are known to hang around buildings, and they generally are in pairs. We've lost a foal and a lovely jersey heifer due to Brown snakes. And, right where I live, because they live a peaceful life in the forest opposite us, they can be HUGE! I was walking dogs a mile from here and up the side of the road, towards us, came a 7 footer if he was an inch, and very thick of course. The two cattle dogs froze and didn't move a muscle as it went by, thank heaven. We've also had them that big down at our hay shed. Seeing a baby Brown can kill I'd hate to know how many people a big one could kill.
Anyway, love all your photo's. We have a red bellied black snake here that is a beauty, not as poisonous as some, and more placid. I like yours that are safe and play dead though, wish we could import some.

hazelrunpack April 19th, 2010 09:58 AM

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That's a shame about your foal and heifer, Goldfields. :( :grouphug:

The US is working very hard to prevent the accidental (or otherwise) import of your browns, Goldfields. Our browns are a pretty innocuous sort. Here's a little one from last year. At that age it was small enough to sit in my hand and they're non-poisonous. I think they don't get much larger than 20 inches, even full-grown. There are also brown water snakes, also nonvenomous.


The eastern hognose is not very cobralike--it's evolved to spread the ribs like a cobra, but that's just a superficial attempt to make it look large and dangerous--more for the surprise factor than anything else. They're actually quite shy and retiring, and can't back up their ruse with anything but an attempt to look dead if the attacker persists. :laughing: So we can admire their beauty in safety. :thumbs up

DoubleRR April 20th, 2010 10:00 AM

Great pics, Hazel! Not too many wild snakes where we are now--used to have lots of garter, bull and rattle snakes in southern BC. All of those are in Alberta too, but not so much in this area. Only snake I get to see is my pet corn Delilah, or other pet snakes. D is 55" long and very friendly to those whose smell she knows. The dogs and cats just think I am nuts, as usual, and do not bother her at all.


Goldfields April 20th, 2010 10:59 AM

Wow, Delilah is just beautiful! She's not poisonous?

I was sitting in my kitchen one day, chatting to a friend on the phone, when I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye. Turned and here was a brown snake hanging from the guttering, swaying back and forth slowly while it tried to figure out if it could get in the window. :eek: I quickly told my friend there was a snake on the roof, had to go :laughing:, then I headed for my front bedroom because the only place it could get up there was up a pencil pine straight outside the window- searching for eggs and baby birds. Sure enough, down it came, dropping the last few feet. It meandered off over to my vegie garden so I rang neighbors and the two brothers came over and John shot it. 5 feet 6inches it measured. It wasn't long after that that we had the pencil pine removed - of course. :D
When working with horses there was a magnificent chestnut TB filly, by the then top sire, killed by snake bite . I'd gone out to a farm to check on the horses and when she didn't come with them and I could see a body my heart just sank. For the fact that so many animals die that way, I hate them, and yet I still do admire their beauty. Wish we had harmless ones. My dogs automatically sense how dangerous the Browns are by the way, ditto for my cats.

MyBirdIsEvil April 20th, 2010 11:24 AM

Corn snakes are not poisonous. They are commonly kept as pets and very docile. Native to the southern U.S.

The only poisonous snakes we have, other than the coral snake (which is rarely seen), are pit vipers, like the cottonmouth I posted, copperhead, and rattlesnakes.

DoubleRR April 20th, 2010 11:55 AM

Is too bad that Australia has so many poisonous snakes--but I guess there is a reason for them. Yes, corns are very commonly kept as pets and bred to be a vast range of colors. Delilah is a common color for those found in the southeastern area of the US. She is about 4th generation captive bred.

Corns eat rodents and whatever mouse sized meal they can catch--nestlings, lizards etc. They are constrictors, so catch and squeeze the breath out of their prey to kill--then swallow whole. I do not believe in feeding live prey, so have a supply of frozen whole mice and thaw one every 10 days or so for her meal. She still "kills" it when you dangle it in front of her, which entertains kids who visit, but no mouse suffers, and the snake doesn't get bitten during the scuffle--a common problem for those who think putting a live rodent in the habitat is a good idea.

There are a great many pet snakes in north america--mostly ball pythons, corns and other small constrictors--but when one goes to the Reptile shows one sees a number of much larger species [ some poisonous ], among the many other reptilian groups. I personally just love my snake's beauty, and do not wish to have any pet I cannot handle. Well, excepting the fish, :)

hazelrunpack April 20th, 2010 02:10 PM

Delilah is beautiful, DoubleRR! :flirt: How big a habitat do you need for a 55-inch snake?

ancientgirl April 20th, 2010 02:13 PM

Beautiful snakes, but I'd be running in the opposite direction of any snake with a flattening head like that.:laughing:

hazelrunpack April 20th, 2010 02:15 PM

I have to say that if it had flared its hood like that and come [I]toward[/I] me, I would probably have been running away, too! :laughing:

DoubleRR April 20th, 2010 02:25 PM

[QUOTE=hazelrunpack;910050]Delilah is beautiful, DoubleRR! :flirt: How big a habitat do you need for a 55-inch snake?[/QUOTE]
Thank you! She does fine in an exo terra #2610.

Large water dish to submerge in and freshened every second day for drinking, aspen chips to slither through, half circles of tree bark to hide under, a nice warm undertank heater in one corner, and a nice fake rock hide with moist moss inside. Twisted fake vine to crawl up and through. I don't feed her in there--she is taken out and put into a nice clear 18" square plastic bin to eat--no chance of swallowing a wood chip, and she equates handling with both feeding and just seeing new things, so is always ready to be taken out of her cage.
One of the nicest things about her--she eats once and poops/pees [is together] once every 10 days to two weeks. :angel:

hazelrunpack April 20th, 2010 02:36 PM

That sounds like a little piece of snake heaven! :cloud9: Love the poop patrol aspect of it, too--only once every 10 to 14 days :laughing:

chico2 April 20th, 2010 04:32 PM

Wow,all these beautiful snakes,especially Delilah..
I have never seen a snake except in capture,I touched one once and was surprised at how soft it was.
I have also seen shows from Australia about the famous deadly Brown snake.

I probably would only watch a snake from a distance,the Hognosed one looks beautiful Hazel..
A snake like any other creature one this earth,has a purpose and a right to live in peace.

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