Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Have A New Critter!! Weasel! Added Info About Them

I couldn't believe my eyes today! I thought I saw something strange in the rock wall. At first I thought maybe it was a rat but the color was wrong. So I watched and to my surprise a little weasel came out and went down inside the drain grate out there. I waited and waited and finally he came back out. He was so fast though. I had to go into the bedroom to catch a view of him when he ran that way. At least I got some video of him. Never did get any good still shots but I captured some off the video to make these collages. I hope he comes back. He's so cute!! I had never seen one before so this was so exciting for me! There's plenty of Voles out there for him to eat. Hope he leaves the Chipmunks alone. He seems too small for them though. I am adding the video also.

Mustela erminea

AKA: Stoat, Short-tailed weasel
Identifying characteristics: A small, weasel-like mammal (long body, short legs, long neck, triangular head, protruding ears, long whiskers) with brown fur on top and white fur on the the undersides including the neck and lower jaw. In winter they tend to turn completely white, except for the black tips of their tail.
Size: From 6 to 12 inches in length (not including their tails, which make up 35% of their total length) and weighing up to 4 ounces. Males are roughly double the size of females.
Habitat: Coniferous and other forests, marshes, open fields (close to forests), brushland. Dens can be crevices under tree roots, rocks or logs and sometimes in abandoned burrows. Dens are usually at or below ground level.
Food: Carnivorous. Specialize in small mammals, but will often eat birds, eggs, fish, lizards, snakes, frogs and insects. Ermine often cache leftover food. Females tend to hunt within their prey's burrows, while males hunt on the ground.
Vocalization: Generally not vocal. Grunts, hisses, chatters, whines.
Predators: Humans, larger mammals and birds.
Reproduction: Litter size average 4-9 (sometimes reaching 18) with 1 litter a year. Mating season is in late spring, early summer.
Other Info.: They are diurnal, often active both day and night. They are capable climbers and swimmers. They often investigate all the crevices and holes when moving about, looking for prey. They will periodically stand upright to check their surroundings and to look out for predators. They are well adapted for snow. Very solitary animals.


Country Mouse Studio said...

oh my gosh, it is so cute, reminds me of the pet ferret I had for a while. How wonderful, thanks I enjoyed the video

rainfield61 said...

You saw a new critter, I am seeing two exclamation marks.

The Retired One said...

He's a cute little rodent!!

Ginnymo said...

I haven't spotted him again yet but hope I do. Joan. Weasels are not rodents.
Weasel is a common name for about 12 species of mammals in the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family. So they are a mammal, not rodent.
Just thought I'd set you straight on that little fact..Ha! Ha! They eat rodents!

Samuel said...

Great pictures and information. I love the new title!

Martha Z said...

Oh, great! Only twice have I seen a weasel in the wild and it was a thrill.
A few days ago I posted a creature you may not know, a pika. He is a little ball of fur who would fit nicely in the palm of your hand, related to a rabbit.