On Wednesday evening I found this little guy in our driveway. At first I was very excited, as I’ve never seen a snake here at Chiot’s Run. I’ve always wanted to find a big black snake in my garage, but sadly that has never happened. After looking closer I realized this little guy was dead.
I grabbed him and examined him to see what had happened. I came inside and searched on-line to try and identify what kind of snake it was. After searching I decided it was most likely a baby black rat snake. He was about 15 inches long, which is about how long the baby ones would be this time of year for the reproduction cycle of black rat snakes. The markings on his back & belly are consistent with some photos I found on Flickr. I found this great blogpost about baby black rat snakes, there are even photo of the eggs!
Black rat snakes hatch out at 11-16 inches, which means this little guy was very young. They often nest in tree cavities where other nesting animals have been. Since I could see no visible injuries, I think perhaps it fell out of the big maple tree beside the driveway.
It’s kind of sad to find my first snake and have it be dead. However it’s not really a sad story, a baby snake in the garden means there’s a mama snake around. I think this is good news for my overpopulation of chipmunks! Black rat snakes are considered one of the most beneficial snakes in Ohio. They can live up to 20 years and are prolific eaters of mice, rats, chipmunks, rabbits, other small rodents, birds and eggs.
I put him on a rock in the garden and he’ll probably become food for another small animal. Perhaps I’ll spot mama in the garage someday soon!
What do you think, do you want snakes around or do they give you the heebie jeebies?Filed under Wildlife | Comments (30)