what kind of snake is this?
Thank you for your question. The snake in your photograph is a bullsnake, and in your area is sometimes referred to as the Pacific gophersnake, scientific name (Pituophis catenifer catenifer). Bullsnakes are non-venomous.
According to The Reptile Database (http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Pituophis&species=catenifer) this species is found in Canada (British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan) and in the U.S. in Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, South Dakota, California, New Mexicon and Arizona. In Mexico, this species is found in Baja California, Aguascalientes, Nuevo León and Sonora.
The bullsnake is found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, sandhills, riparian areas, around ponds and lakes, canyons, semi-desert and mountain shrub areas.
Average length is approximately five feet, and maximum length is a little over eight feet. Their diet consists primarily of rodents and other small mammals. They also eat birds and bird eggs.
This species can be defensive. When threatened they often vibrate their tail and hiss loudly. If approached too closely, they can raise a portion of the their body off the ground and strike and bite repeatedly. However, some captive individuals get accustomed to being handled.
I hope this answers your question, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.