When it comes to heading outdoors, you just never know what you will see. That’s the great thing about getting outside and walking around diverse habitats. Not only do healthy plant communities provide great wildlife habitat, but they also hosts the really cool stuff—the wildlife! I’ve always found that the best time to view any wildlife species is during the breeding or mating season. This is because animals are on the move and often times not paying much attention to things, such as me, around them.
I guess before I continue much further, I understand that many people do not enjoy snakes, especially rattlesnakes, but they are actually very interesting animals. But once you get over “they can kill you” thing, I think most people will appreciate the role that rattlesnakes play in their environment. Well, at least to some extent. These cold-blooded killers are not really the aggressive, come-and-get-you reptiles that people make them out to be.
They don’t try to lurk around barns and houses to scare the sh*t out of people or try and bite them. In fact, they are really just looking for prey. And when it comes to prey, they are fairly specific. These snakes rely on patience, camouflage, keen senses, and a lightning-quick strike to capture their prey by ambush. Rattlesnakes prefer rodents, but the occasional rabbit will work just fine. They will also catch birds, but this is rare for most rattlers. But an interesting thing that most people will never witness is their courting behavior during the breeding season.
The rattlesnake breeding season typically happens in late summer when the male seeks out and encounters a female. Although rattle snakes are generally thought of as being horizontal animals, they get quite vertical during the mating season. I’m sure there is a joke in there someone, so do what you can with that. Anyway, part of the rattlesnake breeding ritual involves “dancing” together with their heads up off the ground. This can go on for some time, but is rarely seen by humans. Check out the photos above and tell me what you think!