I have watched a Western Ratsnake for the past few days here in my yard. When I first saw it, I thought it was just passing through. The next day I saw the same snake and it was hanging around my Bird feeder. I saw it again yesterday while I was sitting in one of my lawn chairs. I went and got my camera and the snake watched me come back to my chair. I thought it would leave the area, but it came over to me and I was able to get a few close up photos. It stayed around for about 30 minutes and then I watched it crawl under a stack of logs. I am thinking this is where it lives. This one was a little over 3 feet long.
Here is a Western Ratsnake I photographed last July: Birds Alerted Me To A Western Rat Snake
Western Ratsnake Facts
- Adults can become quite large, with a reported typical length of 3 foot 6 inches to 6 foot.
- When not fully grown, rat snakes are subject to predation by many animals, including other snakes.
- Once they attain maturity, they are readily preyed on by humans, as well as mammalian carnivores and large birds of prey (especially red-tailed hawks).
- When startled, they may freeze and wrinkle themselves into a series of kinks. If they feel further threatened, they may flee quickly or tail vibrate (potentially a form of mimicry, which makes them sound like rattlesnakes).
- They are also capable of producing a foul-smelling musk, which they will release onto predators if picked up. They spread the musk with their tails in hopes of deterring the threat.
- When cornered or provoked, black snakes are known to stand their ground and can become aggressive.
- This species is a constrictor, meaning it suffocates its prey, coiling around small animals and tightening its grip until they can no longer draw breath, before eating them.