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Rat Snake Black behavior

The Canadian Black Rat Snake, also known as the Pilot Snake or Chicken Snake, is a North American member of the constrictor family.

In the warmer months these snakes will sometimes form nocturnal habits. Black Rat Snakes prey primarily on rats and mice, although on occasion they have been known to eat birds as big as small chickens. This is the reason it is known also as the Chicken Snake. Black Rat Snakes are very good climbers and like trees containing bird eggs and the occasional bird. Though normally solitary creatures, in the winter, Black Rat Snakes hibernate in spaces called 'hibernacula' with other species of snakes as well as other Rat Snakes. Usually a hibernaculum will contain 30 to 50 snakes from October until about April. Long ago it was thought that if venomous snakes like rattlers were in danger, the Black Rat Snake would lead them to safety, and in many areas it is called the Pilot Snake for this reason. Black Rat Snakes are non-venomous, but are often mistaken for copperheads or rattlesnakes because of their defensive behaviors. When frightened, the Pilot Snake will coil itself, strike at the danger, rapidly shake its tail, and hiss. The Black Rat Snake also has glands, which can emit a disgusting odor if the snake is picked up. These powerful but peaceful snakes can live up to twenty years in the wild.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rat_Snake_Black".
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