Date: 10/21/18 6:18 pm
From: Peter Stangel <peter...>
Subject: Snake Safety for Birders
While birding the wetlands at Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary in Jackson, SC, and at nearby Phinizy Swamp in Augusta, GA, last weekend, I encountered several nice cottonmouth snakes basking on the trail. Beautiful snakes. Since I was "looking up" for birds, I nearly stepped on one. The snake's reaction afforded me the opportunity to get a good look at its "cotton mouth!" This experience prompted me to reach out to renowned herpetologist Whit Gibbons, of the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Lab, for some guidance on snake safety for birders.

His guidance appears in the latest issue of The Birding Wire:
https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.birdingwire.com_releases_14426a68-2D0ff6-2D4ac6-2D8d93-2D9c05f44fa7d9_&d=DwIFAg&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=xweJOQxB9qu8TJqngNvVzv5qv8dG0xpx5ZsOxkmJSmI&s=mKczUGkMcnuY_SiDxNWtSUY51Sro36idizYPhI7-JZA&e=

Whit often addresses bird issues in his weekly newspaper columns on ecology, which are well worth the read. In today's Aiken Standard newspaper he humorously describes what his grandson called an "owl attack": https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.aikenstandard.com_lifestyle_ecoviews-2Dan-2Dowl-2Dattack-2Dis-2Dmemorable_article-5Fc1d29b62-2Dd1b1-2D11e8-2D801a-2D03e0c68ed196.html&d=DwIFAg&c=imBPVzF25OnBgGmVOlcsiEgHoG1i6YHLR0Sj_gZ4adc&r=ymRCw6Q-sBitug_rdeO1Tokz-I_SX2LQN2_Ocvlal9U&m=xweJOQxB9qu8TJqngNvVzv5qv8dG0xpx5ZsOxkmJSmI&s=2uTn8ymSgqTS-gPEv5qJAHWphwAQ7TiIDbTujZGbQGk&e=

What has some very nice snake and other reptile and amphibian natural history guides that are excellent if you'd like to learn more about these creatures.

Peter Stangel
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