Back to the Species at Risk main page.
- Slender and sleek looking snake. Adults are 61 to 90 cm (24 to 35 in.).
- Greyish background colour with reddish blotches bordered in black along its back and sides. Most will have a light coloured V or Y shape on the top of their head.
- Smooth scales (not keeled) add to its smooth appearance.
- Food consists mostly of small mammals, although they may also feed on small birds and eggs.
- They will kill larger prey by constriction.
Habits and Reproduction
- Hibernate in mammal burrows, rock crevices and house foundations, often communally (with other snakes) and emerge in mid-April.
- Typically remain undercover throughout the day and are active at night (nocturnal).
- Return to their hibernation sites by October.
- Lives on average 7-10 years.
- Mate in early spring, and lay 6-20 eggs in late June or early July under rotting logs and leaf litter;
- Maturity is reached after 4 years.
- May be found in open forest, field and wetland habitat. Often found around farmhouses, barns, sheds and woodpiles.
- Habitat loss, road mortality and direct persecution are the greatest threats to this snake.
- Please report sightings of milksnakes especially if you notice areas where they are gathering in the fall.
- Watch out while driving. Far too many milksnakes are killed along our roadways.
For more information about the Eastern Milksnake in the Georgian Bay area, contact:
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
7 Bay Street
Parry Sound, Ontario