Crocodiles, lizards, turtles and snakes are reptiles, and generally speaking, most reptiles lay eggs--but not all of them. Some snakes give birth to fully formed live young, just like mammals. Copperheads are one of them, and this time of year is birthing season for these beautifully camouflaged snakes.
At National Wildlife Federation, copperheads are causing quite a buzz. Our headquarters landscape is a Certified Wildlife Habitat, which means it is filled with native plants that provide food, cover and places to raise young for all sorts of wildlife. Several ponds offer a water source. The landscape is filled with songbirds, butterflies, frogs--and yes, snakes.
A few of my colleagues spotted a copperhead on their walk into the office earlier this week and sent an email out alerting others to the presence of the snake so folks could avoid the area. It was a great wildlife sighting and they snapped this picture of the gorgeous animal:
Photo by Greg Hudson.
But that's not all that was going on. The snake was a female and she was there giving birth! The next day, several small snake skins were found in the exact location. Shortly after coming into the world, the tiny newborn snakes shed their skin and let us know that mom had given birth to her babies.