Gopher Snake

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Gopher Snake

Gopher Snake

Probably the most commonly seen snake in our area, the Gopher (or Bull) Snake lives in many habitats and tolerates human activity well. Once when checking nest boxes, I spotted an odd insect along the opening at the top of the door. I mostly worry about surprising paper wasps in the boxes; other insects rarely create problems. So I just opened the door. There I stood, staring at the belly of a small Gopher Snake. Quickly closing the door, I stepped back and realized that what I had thought was an insect at the opening was actually the eyes and nostrils of the snake, peering out of the box. It was still there after I closed the box. Tolerant of humans, indeed. Gopher Snakes can be mistaken for rattlesnakes, especially since one may coil and raise its head defensively if threatened. It can even shake its tail against dry vegetation, sounding very much like a rattlesnake. These similarities probably result in the indiscriminate killing of these harmless snakes. In fact, they eat many rodents, providing important pest control.


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