Snake Season’s Here: Get to Know Local Species

It’s that time of year again: Snakes are awakening from their winter brumation (a snake version of hibernation). And one of our volunteers, Pat Cicero, who’s a snake enthusiast, put together a wonderful guide on the snake species we’re likely to encounter in the Tucson area of the Sky Islands.

Pat covers tips to avoid snake encounters, as most snakes want to steer clear of humans, and we can do them a favor by accommodating them. Watching carefully where we place our hands and feet if we’re out hiking, checking wildlife cameras, or Spring Seeking can help avert surprises.

My own personal favorite snake is the northern black-tailed rattlesnake, often found in rocky areas like cave entrances, which I visit for fun. As Pat shares in his guide, these rattlesnakes are generally calm but still deserve respect and space. Almost all of the photos in the guide are from Pat’s snake encounters, and the guide is full of fascinating and useful information.

Snakes are beautiful animals, and they’re amazing at surviving and thriving in the hot desert. I hope this season that, as you’re out enjoying the Sky Islands, you’ll see many snakes (from a distance), take their photos, and then return home safely to share the story of pleasant encounters. Snakes have long been maligned and deserve better from all of us.

Check out Pat’s guide here.

Further Learning