Date: 4/16/17 9:05 am From: George Hammond <worldsmith...> Subject: Re: [birders] OT snake ID
Local birders might like to know that the Michigan DNR has produced a whole set of “60 Second Snakes” videos on Michigan snakes. They are a good way to get familiar with our snakes, including the venomous and rare eastern massasauga rattlesnake (found in several SE Michigan natural areas, including the UM Botanic Gardens and Indian Springs Metropark). Here’s a page with all the videos.
Lots of confirmation that this is a northern watersnake. The Lake Erie watersnake is a subspecies of the northern found only on the islands of western Lake Erie (and maybe adjacent Ohio shoreline). The two can’t be told apart from a photo, but I’m pretty sure this is not the Lake Erie subspecies given the location.
These days watersnakes around the Great Lakes prey on the abundant populations of an exotic introduced fish, the round goby. The snakes are generalists that feed on whatever aquatic animals they can find, mainly small fish and amphibians, but young snakes also eat leeches, crayfish, and aquatic insects. Only very rarely reported to take birds. Raptors, gulls, herons and egrets feed on the snakes, especially on the young ones.
> On Apr 16, 2017, at 10:46 AM, P. swanson (via birders Mailing List) <birders...> wrote:
> Does anyone recognize this snake? It's certainly not a garter. my daughter saw it in Grosse Pointe Woods park.