Gary Bogue

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Bay Area snakes starting to crawl around looking for spring

Rubber boa in garden. Photo by Ken Chainey, Richmond, CA
r boa2 ken chainey richmond

We were delighted (and surprised) to find a rubber boa stretched across our garden path yesterday.  Although we have had periods of warm weather, that day was rather cool.  He tolerated being photographed at close range, occasionally flicking his black tongue.  He either was more interested in being stealthy than inquisitive, or else he was too cold to take action.  Eventually he slid into the ivy.  Is this too early for it to be out?  Or is this species more active than other snakes in cool weather?
Enjoying Spring antics,
Marina Chainey, Richmond, California

Rubber boa in garden. Photo by Ken Chainey, Richmond, CA
r boa ken chainey richmond

Rubber boas (Charina bottae) are gentle, beautiful little (14 to 22 inches) snakes. They are shy, hiding under rocks and logs. they also burrow. These constrictors prey on small rodents, birds, reptiles and insects. They are rarely seen and most people don’t even know that we have our own little boas here in the Bay Area.

Nice to see one out and about. Once the days warm up, even just a few days at a time, many reptiles start to wake up and look around. I’ve spotted a few western fence lizards in my own backyard. Looks like local reptiles are getting ready to watch Spring come dancing over the hills! I’m sure ready. /Gary

Posted by on March 11, 2011.

Categories: Rubber boa, Spring

3 Responses

  1. 4 wild turkeys came to our garden via roof this am around 7 am. We heard an unusual sound on our roof that we couldn’t identify. Looked in the garden and there they were. We live in north Berkeley near the tunnel to Solano Avenue near Hopkins and El Dorado Ave. Has anyone else seen them in our neighborhood?

    by Mona Reeva on Mar 11, 2011 at 9:14 am

  2. Don’t forget the Rosy boa, our other bay area boa constrictor. The rubber and rosy boas are the only two North American boa constrictors, and both can be found here in the bay area. Rosy boas are similar in size, but are a kind of reddish mauve color with a pinkish-tan stripe running lengthwise down their back. They tend to be more common in grassy areas up to the edge of the deserts, and are quite beautiful little snakes. Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward has one on display, for the curious. Truthfully, they are one of the most beautiful snakes I’ve ever seen.

    by Michelle on Mar 17, 2011 at 6:00 pm

  3. Rosy boas are found in California but not in the Bay area. See

    by sfbaywildlife on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:42 am

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About Gary Bogue

My name’s Gary Bogue. Animals have always been a big part of my life. From the spiders I collected as a preschooler, to the boa constrictor my parents gave me one Christmas when I was in high school, to the orphaned mountain lions, eagles, otters, hummingbirds, bears, and other wild creatures I helped raise and [...]more →