Black Rat Snake

Q: I found two black rat snakes tightly wound around each other in one of my bluebird houses. They stayed about a day and then departed. I have a good idea what they were doing!

A: This is certainly different from most of the emails I get! The black rat snake, Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta is common in north Georgia. We used to find them regularly in my parents’ chicken houses, where they ate eggs. They also eat small rodents, frogs and lizards.

The snakes copulate (as yours were) in early summer and lay their eggs from June to August in rotting stumps or in piles of rotten leaves.

If a rat snake is threatened, it will vibrate its tail, which sometimes causes a sound like a rattlesnake.

These creatures are harmless to humans so I’m glad you let the two enjoy themselves!

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