Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes of October

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The woods and lakeshores of Oakland County have accelerated their seasonal transition with cool breezes and colorful leaves, luring hikers and cyclists to our trails, picnickers and late season kayakers to our parks and lakes, and large numbers of residents to our cider mills. Just like humans, wildlife creatures are soaking up the sun during the shortening days of our autumn season, including the only venomous snake found in Oakland County, the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. Continue reading

EASTERN MASSASAUGA RATTLESNAKES: Live and Let Live

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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August is the birthing season for the reclusive ‘swamp rattlers’ of Oakland County. Like all rattlesnakes, the eastern massasauga rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) bear live young. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service states, “The young actually hatch from eggs while still in the female’s body. Depending on the health of the individual, adult females may bear young every year or every other year.” According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, our state’s only venomous snake gives birth to eight to twenty young. The little rattlers disperse shortly after birth and strike out on their own in our county of swamps and uplands using their heat-sensitive pits on the sides of their head to detect prey. Continue reading