Long-tailed Weasels - an unexpected appearance

Discussion in 'Other Animals' started by Retief, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. UPDATE: Larry, Fishbio, has correctly corrected my identification. These are Long Tailed, not Least Weasels. If ever you have doubt about an animal or bird ID, ask Larry :)

    The other day I was photographing song birds in the field when an older gentleman road up on a bike and stopped to chat. As he left I look to where he is riding and see a weasel pop out so I called out to him, he was hard of hearing, didn't hear me and the weasel ran off. I said unkind things, went back to the birds and suddenly, POP there's the Weasel!

    1. YOU're not a weasel!

    2. Leaping

    3. Mom and the Kid

    4. Double Jump

    5. Nice pose

    They ran up within 15-20 feet I'd guess then off into the weeds they went. I think this was Mom and a kit, but I am really not positive.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Cute series, Bill - well done!


  3. It's not often you get the opportunity to shoot Long-tailed weasel (least doesn't occur in WA).
  4. Larry, thanks, I'll go fix the Title and my post now. I had looked at the Wikipedia page for Weasel and very obviously misread the small map, I should have enlarged it. The other thing that fooled me was the picture, they certainly are very similar looking.

    I have seen these a few times at another wetland we shoot, but have never gotten the chance to get a decent shot.

    Do you think this is a female and a kit? The one standing tall appears to be a female to me.

    Thanks, Mike. It was quite fun watching the pair run and jump toward. I was amazed that they ran toward me at all, but I'm not complaining, other than the shots that were OOF, I must have a bad camera ;)
  5. I think you're right about the relationship between the two. Mating occurs later in summer and they are solitary the rest of the year. Young stay with the female to learn how to hunt.

  6. A bit more reading shows me that they are born in spring, weaned at about 5 weeks, then leave Mom at around 7-8 weeks, so I got REALLY lucky, as this little one must be in the 5-8 week spread, the others probably off on their own by now. Makes this even more of a "not often" situation. Right place, right time. Blind luck beats advanced planning once again :ROFLMAO:

    The most interesting thing I see about their life cycle, from Nature Works, is this:
    "The long-tailed weasel mates in the summer, but the fertilized eggs don't begin to develop until about 27 days before the babies are born." Nature sure is amazing in how it figures out the best way to give the young the best chance of survival.

    Thanks for the education, Larry. Everybody, give Larry a big hand! (y)
  7. I find I'm always looking things up and finding out all sorts of amazing facts about the natural world. Like you I haven't lost my curiosity and it keeps life interesting.

    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Fabulous series and discussion! I have only managed a few fleeting glimpses of these little buggers, and now you go and get a whole series of fabulous shots! Good work Bill.
  9. myfotoguy


    Mar 12, 2011
    Great series, number four is awesome. Nice and crisp, great action shot. It appears that they may have been moving fast, and I imagine sporadically, making this capture even better and more rewarding.
  10. Allan


    Apr 21, 2006
    Nashua, NH
    Nice and cute. I have never seen one.
  11. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Excellent set Bill! #3 and 5 are my favs!
  12. "Fleeting Glimpses", a nice way to put it Nick. I am not going to hold my breath waiting for this to happen again, but I sure as heck will go back there, "just in case"!

  13. I've never seen these before. They are adorable. I also think #3 and #5 are my faves. Wonderful set!
  14. Keeps my old brain fresh, Larry. What never ceases to surprise me is how often, such as in this case, I was quite close to the right ID, just didn't look deep enough. But the things like the delayed maturation of the fertilized egg and such, that is truly a wonder.
  15. Yeah, Old Mother Nature is amazing! What's next? Evolution? :D
    Seriously, so many of society's ills can be cured by a regular and healthy dose on nature. Was watching an interview with Dr. Dr. Richard Jackson, host of the PBS series Building Healthy Communities, and he brings this point home with so many examples--for obesity, depression, diabetes, heart health and more. Anyway, y'all know all this and practice it in spades!
    OK, back to weasels . . .
  16. Walter


    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Cool! I bet they were curious and came to check you out.
  17. Great series Bill with the last one being my favourite. Also an informative post about the long tail...learn something new and you live longer is my philosophy
  18. bmell


    Feb 11, 2009
    Excellent images, well captured!
  19. Thanks again to everyone.

    Nick, in a rare serious moment from both of us, you are so very right.

    Walter, you may be correct, it sure seemed that way. Not sure why they took off when they did though, I was downwind :ROFLMAO:

    Bob, I try to keep my mind open and working, I made myself a promise years ago to learn something new every day.
  20. These are awesome Bill, glad you got so lucky, we, are all benefiting from it!
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