Snakes are cold-blooded, or ectothermic, which means their body temperature matches their surroundings. For example, if the temperature outside is 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a snake’s body temperature is close to freezing.
The colder the weather, the less active a snake will be, which is why you’re less likely to see snakes in winter. Be on the lookout on 60-degree or warmer days, though, as snakes become more active. Even in winter, you could find a snake warming in a sunny spot, perhaps in the middle of your favorite hiking trail. Don’t be alarmed. Simply, watch where you’re stepping and walk around the snake.
WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR.