What Does a Snake Nest Look Like?

A snake’s nest is a pile of loose vegetation. It often looks like a mound of leaves that may have been crushed down by the snake, and may even have eggs buried in there. 

The more appropriate term for a snake nest is a den. However, this is still questionable because snakes do not gather together. If they do, they only do it to overcome the winter together. However, they don’t have a nest as birds do. They also do not have dens as wolves do.

What Does a Snake Nest Look Like

Disclaimer: This is information for entertainment and educational purposes only. Do not approach a wild animal and keep your distance. Only professionals should handle wild animals. Seek professional help immediately if you have been bitten or otherwise harmedConsult your local wildlife authority for the right advice for your situation and locality.

Do All Snakes Have Nests?

Not all snakes build nests. In fact, of all snake species on earth, only the king cobra builds a nest. There are more than 3,000 species of snakes in the world. About 70% of these snakes lay eggs. The rest give birth to live young.

When snakes lay eggs or give birth, they do it in a safe location. Some do it underground. Some do it in loose vegetation. Some climates are just too cold for snakes to lay eggs.

As such, these snakes evolved into incubating the eggs inside them and then giving birth to live young.

Typically, snakes give birth or lay eggs in areas that do not require preparation. Here are some examples of where snakes lay eggs or give birth:

  • Rotting logs 
  • Under rocks
  • Dense vegetation 
  • Piles of leaves 
  • Animal burrow
  • Loose soil
  • Animal holes

Most snakes leave their eggs after laying them. Only a few species of snakes watch over their eggs and incubate them.

An example of this is python. A python would only leave her eggs to drink water or bask in the sun. A python would even shake or shiver to generate heat to incubate the eggs.

Read More: Do Pythons Lay Eggs?

How Does a King Cobra Build Her Nest?

Of all the species of snakes, it is only the king cobra that makes a nest. She does this by pushing together vegetation using her head, and this is where she lays her eggs.

The king cobra pushes vegetation with her head to build a nest. Once the loose foliage is tight enough, she lays about 40 eggs in there. 

After that, she would push more leaves and weeds over the eggs around them. Once this is done, she’s going to place herself on top of the eggs. This is how a cobra protects her eggs and also how she keeps the eggs warm.

Related: 13 Snakes that Lay Eggs

How To Recognize a Snake Nest

You really cannot tell if there’s a snake nest in an area. Most snakes will give birth or lay eggs in places where they feel safe without making any sort of visible nest.

The only snake to make a nest is the King Cobra, which is only found on the Indian subcontinent. If you live anywhere else, it’s unlikely that you would likely never find a snake nest.

Snakes would typically live in animal holes and burrows, and even holes in trees, to give birth or lay eggs. 

If you think you’ve found a snake nest in your home or yard, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Call in a professional who is trained to deal with snakes safely and humanely.

To be on the safe side, you should not go looking for nesting snakes. They tend to give birth in places away from people and predators, but if you go searching for them you might end up getting bitten.

Read More: What Color Are Snake Eggs?

Where do Snakes Nest?

Like many reptiles, snakes are cautious where they lay their eggs or give birth. They prefer to deposit their eggs in shallow holes and the sand. 

They also lay their eggs or give birth in the warm grass. Snakes know that there are predators like there that would hunt their eggs. Although snakes do not typically build nests, they will still find safe places for their eggs or young.

Some snake species including the pine snake and the gopher snake sometimes bury into the soil to create a nesting spot to lay their eggs, but this is not a standard practice.

It’s not typically necessary for a snake to build a nest. The reason being is that most of them leave their eggs or young immediately after they give birth or lay eggs.

One curious case is the Madagascar giant hognose. This is snake lays her eggs and attends to them.

In relation to snake nests, there is a myth that is widely believed. Many people say that if one sees a snake, there must be a nest of snakes nearby. This claim is a myth as many snakes live alone.

While it is true that some snakes gather together, it is rare. Snakes are not social animals. What this means is that if one sees a snake in the area, it is likely that the snake is alone.

Read More: Snakes Intelligent?

Do Snakes Nest in Houses?

Snakes can give birth or lay eggs inside a house. When a snake finds a secure location where there is adequate food and protection, a snake will lay eggs there.

One tell-tale sign of a snake living in a house is snakeskin. It is dry and scaly skin that could be in sheets or as a whole. A snake will not shed its skin in a place that it does not think is secure.

Another way to validate whether a snake is living inside the house is through snake droppings. These snake droppings are very distinctive. They look like bird poop. However, some snake droppings have hair and bones.

Another thing that a person must watch for is snake smell. Snakes have a distinct smell. It is a bad musk that comes from its cloaca, and one can usually smell it in vents or holes that the snake had access to. 

Read More: Can Snakes Live in Septic Systems?

Summary: What Does a Snake Nest Look Like?

The only legitimate snake nest is that of the king cobra. Of all the species of snakes, only the king cobra builds a nest as birds do. 

The rest of the snakes lay their eggs where there is no likelihood of predation. They also lay their eggs or give birth in places where it is comfortable.

70% of snakes lay eggs, and the other 30% give birth to live young. There’s no sure way to tell whether one is dealing with a snake nest or not. The only exception is if it is a mound of loose leaves. It is indicative of a king cobra’s presence.

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