One of Hudson Gardens’ year-round residents slithering through the gardens in the warmer weather is also one of the largest of its species that you can find in Colorado.   

Often mistaken for its venomous cousin, the rattlesnake, the non-venomous bullsnake or sometimes called the gopher snake, is one of the most widespread snakes in Colorado.  These snakes can grow up to 6 feet in length and can be found in almost every type of terrain throughout Colorado but are especially common in grasslands and open brushland.   

While the bullsnake closely resembles its venomous cousin the rattlesnake, some key differences make them easy to distinguish from rattlesnakes such as round black pupils and lack of trademark rattle on their tails.  A bullsnake’s diet is extremely diverse ranging from rodents, insects, small mammals, birds and even eggs. 

Bullsnakes typically become active in the months of April and May as they emerge from their underground burrows in search of mates.   They can be seen sunning themselves and often will lie motionless when approached during the summer months.  The majority of bullsnakes encountered in August are the newly hatched juveniles and by mid-September these snakes begin moving back underground where they will occasionally inhabit abandoned burrows other animals, dig their own burrows of even share communal underground dens with other snake species.  These snakes usually utilize the same den site year after year. 

While it is tempting to interact with wildlife you may encounter at Hudson Gardens, please remember the most important thing:  Always observe and appreciate them from a distance.