New York State has 3 poisonous snakes. One is the copperhead and the other two are rattlesnakes. The massasauga or "swamp rattler" is extremely rare; It is found in only 2 locations of central/western NYS. The timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) is larger and can be found in some areas of the Catskill Mountains and Shawangunk Ridge. The timber rattler is considered "threatened" in NYS, but its presence can still be found, like this one I almost stepped on last Sunday.
We'll describe this secretive snake, its biology, life history, feeding habits, and our thoughts on why its habitat seems to be fading away. We'll also cover how this interesting snake was also revered by America's Founding Fathers too and competed for the nation's symbol alongside the bald eagle.