Eastern Garter Snakes

Posted on in Recent Sightings by Hawk Mountain

A Group Of Eastern Garter Snakes Sunning On A Rock

How many snakes can you count in this photo? Eastern Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) have been seen enjoying the warm weather, basking on rocks in the forest and nearby bodies of water around the Sanctuary. Adult eastern garters are approximately 18-26 inches in length but can occasionally reach up to 40+ inches. These medium-sized reptiles are dark brown with three olive yellow longitudinal stripes down the length of their body and pale-yellow bellies. Eastern garter snakes are nonvenomous, completely harmless to humans but a formidable foe to worms, frogs, toads, salamanders, fish, and the occasional rodent. They are a common garden resident of suburban Pennsylvania—if you have ever found a snake in your backyard, chances are it was an eastern garter. Here at Hawk Mountain, you can find them in a variety of habitats such as woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands. 

Photo by Bill Moses.