Friday, September 2, 2016

This Week's Snake Identification Challenge: 50/50

Good morning Dr. Steen! 

Got quite a surprise this morning when I went to get my birdfeeder where it hangs near a large tea olive shrub. Found myself about 5 inches away from this little guy. Of course, this has to happen while my husband is at work. LOL Once I recovered my wits, and herded my two very inquisitive Australian Shepherds back inside, I grabbed my phone to snap a few pics.

As you can see, he is very much occupied with consuming this bird. When I first saw him, he had not yet started eating it. He had the first few inches of his body coiled around the bird's neck, as he tried to maneuver it to a better location to eat it. 

As much as I would love to leave him be, to help out with said mice population, I am fearful one of my dogs would get a hold of him. 

My plan is to use some soft rubber tongs to pick him up and place him in a pillowcase, then walk him over to a wooded area just outside my subdivision and set him loose in some shrubs near a kind of wet boggy area.

Was hoping you could help me ID him so if I see his brothers or sisters in the future I will know what I'm dealing with.

Thank you so much for your time and expertise!

Terri H.

This snake was killed in eastern North Carolina.  Can you help identify it?  Thanks.

North Carolina

Is this another water snake or a copperhead?  Can you tell without a picture of its head?

Jackie C.
North Carolina

This was in my backyard last night, 
North Texas/DFW area.
I'm hearing mixed opinions of rat snake vs copperhead
Thanks for any help you could provide 

Mel B
North Texas 

What Are These Snakes?

Snake Identification Post Ground Rules

-Guesses are welcome and encouraged. Don't worry if you're not an expert, wrong guesses allow us to talk about how to distinguish between the various species and that's why I run these posts.

-If you can't explain why you think a snake is a particular species, go ahead and just say what you think it is. But otherwise please do let us all know how you identified the animal. If you're wrong, we can explain why. If you're right, this helps everyone learn how to identify snakes, which is the point of these posts.

-This is not a pop quiz, any kind of research is encouraged and I hope you will engage with other commenters to try to figure these snakes out. I will eventually chime in with my thoughts.

-Assume I know what kind of snake is in the picture. I run these posts because they are outreach opportunities. Please don't send me private e-mails with your guesses, include them below.

-Remember, the person that sent me the picture is probably reading your comments. Although it is frustrating to know that many of these snakes have been killed, these people do want to learn more about them. More snake knowledge will lead to fewer snakes being killed. Don't hate, educate.

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