Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Eastern Foxsnakes

Ring-billed Gull over the Detroit River

I was out boating on the Detroit River with friends on June 18 and we were lucky to see some courtship behaviour of Eastern Foxsnakes. These two large adults were at the shoreline and apparently undisturbed by the passage of the boat. The male had a firm grip on the head of the female during our observation.

These snakes can take large prey items. Last year we watched a foxsnake consume an entire clutch of Mallard eggs. This is quite a mouthful as Mallard eggs average about 42 mm in diameter! These snakes likely also prey on Ring-billed Gull nests as their eggs are about the same diameter.

Eastern Foxsnake eating duck eggs, Ojibway Park, June 2008