A huge snake spotted near Highland Road in Baton Rouge Sunday was likely trying to feast on birds.
Matthew Lee, who photographed the snake near his home in Magnolia Woods Subdivision, says the snake was climbing a tree that had a bird nest at the top. Lee estimated the snake to be about seven feet long.
Based on Lee's photograph, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries herpetologist Jeff Boundy identified the snake as a Texas Rat Snake. Boundy says that type of snake is found statewide in wooded and forested places. He says they are non-venomous (harmless) and feed primarily on rodents and secondarily on birds.
During this time of year, Boundy says snakes are often observed because they are seeking prey and mates after the winter dormancy. As the nighttime temperature increases into late spring and summer, these snakes will tend to become nocturnal, and therefore less readily seen, he added.