Rattlesnakes abound in the Anza Valley

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This rattlesnake is well-camouflaged in the dry grass and difficult to see. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Rattlesnake sightings and interactions have been increasing since the spring in the Anza Valley. As the temperatures increase, so do the reptiles’ activity levels. So far this season, there have been dozens of reported rattlesnake sightings. The animals are becoming more mobile as the weather warms and it’s up to residents and visitors alike to be on the alert for unintended contact. The winter rains resulted in an explosion of the snakes’ preferred prey – small rodents like mice, rats and ground squirrels. In turn, this surge encourages the serpents to move about in search of food. To hunt, a rattlesnake utilizes heat-sensing organs on each side of its face, called “loreal” pits that help them locate prey. Snake species that have these organs are called pit vipers, a gro
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