western diamond-backed rattlesnake

Winter

December and January were pretty quiet here at the ranch; as you can see from the above photo, the weather has not exactly been snakey. OK, it only snowed a couple times and melted pretty quickly, but it has still been too cold for snake activity. Even Jaydin (adult male black-tailed rattlesnake) finally settled into …

Winter Read More »

Drinking

Drinking is a behavior rarely seen in wild snakes. In fact, some would say that snakes don’t need to drink. While it is rare to see this behavior, snakes do drink and likely need water in addition to what they acquire from their food. How important drinking is to snakes became very clear to me …

Drinking Read More »

October draws to a close

I’ve always thought of October as the end of the snake season. Snakes settle into their dens and we check on them less frequently because they are no longer making long movements. But, if you ignore snakes over the winter, you’ll miss out on some really cool behavior, like this: A poor quality video of …

October draws to a close Read More »

Scenes from a new den

We were recently told about a new social rattlesnake den in the Galiuro Mountains. We hiked in to check it out, saw one western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox), and decided to set up one of our timelapse cameras. The video below is from the first two days of our monitoring, and we were a little …

Scenes from a new den Read More »

16 October 2011

The week began with a visit from our dear friend Roger Repp, who wanted to check out our new study site and track some of the snakes. We had barely started our hike down Hot Springs Wash when we came across a very healthy looking Sonoran whipsnake (Coluber bilineatus). As is typical with this species, …

16 October 2011 Read More »

First week

A Sonoran whipsnake (Coluber bilineatus) at Muleshoe Ranch. Our first week of tracking was pretty uneventful.  We release snakes as soon as possible after their transmitter implantation surgery so that they can recover in their habitat. So typically the first week or so is pretty slow; the snakes lay low while recovering and don’t make …

First week Read More »

Off with a bang!

We arrived at Muleshoe Ranch at ~13:45 to meet with the manager and finalize plans for our new project. We are hoping to find 10 rattlesnakes in the next couple weeks: two western diamond-backed (Crotalus atrox), two black-tailed (C. molossus), and six Arizona blacks (C. cerberus). We got the grand tour of the ranch, including …

Off with a bang! Read More »

Bandshell

Halfway between Tucson and Phoenix, a crumbling granite hillside gives way to a cactus-studded alluvial plain. Small, sandy washes break up this landscape and facilitate the growth of desert trees. Here, the western diamondbacked rattlesnake flourishes during times of plenty and, in leaner times, retreats to refuges to idle until conditions improve. In February of …

Bandshell Read More »