Baby rattlesnakes!

This is just a quick post to announce the first births that we know of this year among our Effie Yeaw Nature Center rattlesnakes. When we checked on non-telemetered Female 55 this evening (Tuesday, 1 September) with the BurrowCam, she looked pretty normal (see photo below). She certainly did not look like she had lost a lot of weight. And there were no babies on or around her.

Frame grab from BurrowCam video of Female 55, not looking like she's lost much weight. No kids in sight just inside her refuge Tuesday evening - or anytime previously.
Frame grab from BurrowCam video of Female 55, not looking like she’s lost much weight. No kids in sight just inside her refuge Tuesday evening – or anytime previously.

 

But when I bent the BurrowCam around and pushed it deeper into the cavity behind her, at least two babies were spotted. What was surprising was that they are not brand new. Note the bluish eyes and rattle caps; these kids are several days old – maybe close to a week.

One of at least two babies in the refuge with Female 55 on Tuesday evening. Note the bluish eyes and rattle button. These little snakes are several days old and already preparing for their postpartum shed.
One of at least two babies in the refuge with Female 55 on Tuesday evening. Note the bluish eyes and rattle button. These little snakes are several days old and already preparing for their postpartum shed.

These little guys have never been near the opening to the refuge when I have looked. That’s very different behavior than what I have seen in the past. Click here to see the 1.75 minute video of the kids.

Female 41 from the same shelter is still pregnant and there’s no evidence of kids around the other pregnant females…but I missed these babies for several days! More to follow soon…

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