Field update for the Earthshine Nature Programs Snake Tracks Timber rattlesnake conservation project for September 21, 2013.
Zoe remains in the small clearing in the forest where she has been since mid June. I found her today basking at the edge of the forest on a stump. Take a look at the photo below–this is how I found Zoe today!
This time last year Zoe was already on the move toward her overwintering area on the north side of the mountain. Why she is waiting so long to depart, only she knows.
Safety note: Zoe was only about 50 feet from the parked camper. If you are the owner of this camper, please be careful when walking in the area around dusk and dawn during the summer months.
Utsanati has close to half a mile since the last time I located him. I found him on the move and outstretched on the leaf litter. He was in the open, on a sun warmed ridge about 30 feet from the debris associated with a fallen oak and only about 60-80 feet from his overwintering location. He did not feel comfortable enough with my presence so he slowly crawled off into the nearby tangle of timber.
Below is a photo of Utsanati as I first found him.
It is interesting how he was holding his head up high in a “cobra-like” stance. This is the first time I have seen this behavior in Timber rattlesnakes. It is also interesting to note that he never rattled or acted aggressive in any way–only very slowly moved off with almost no sound at all in order to escape the human interloper.
Take a look at the video from today below.
If the video does not play try following this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMneMJ6KgIE” to watch the video on Youtube.
What will they do next?
For more information on the Snake Tracks project and Earthshine Nature Programs please visit us at www.earthshinenature.com
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Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers www.steepcanyon.com used with permission.
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