Wild creatures among us: Long-tailed Weasel - Mustela frenata

Sunday, June 13, 2021

He looks a little worried about having his photo taken.

All photos by Tanis Coralee Leonhardi

Susan Leonhardi sent photos of the long-tailed weasels who have been hanging out in her Innis Arden back yard, taken by her daughter Tanis. This was the first report of them locally, but in the last week other people have been seeing them as well.

Note the distinctive black-tipped tail

Susan said  "Who knew that the animals that eat our sweet little chipmunks and bunnies are also very cute. We had a first-time visitor at our home, a Long-Tailed Weasel. I was shocked to see it.   

"My husband witnessed a weasel dragging a baby bunny across the street being followed by the bunny's momma. Both my daughter and I have also seen this new-to-us Weasel within the last few days.

"One day there were two of them." 

He was lured with parmesan cheese for his photo op

According to Washington NatureMapping Program, long tailed weasels are found in every environment in Washington state. The following is from their website.

"Long-Tailed Weasels eat mice, rats, voles, squirrels, chipmunks, shrews, moles, and rabbits. Sometimes they will eat birds, bird eggs, snakes, frogs, and insects. They use tunnels made by other animals to hunt for their food.

Looking for his companion.

"Behavior: Long-Tailed Weasels make loud chirps when they are frightened or ready to attack. They will utter a low trilling sound when participating in a friendly meeting between a male and a female. The same trilling sound also calls baby weasels to their mothers. Weasels can be seen during daytime, but are most active at night.

"Weasels bounce up and down in a running motion with their backs arched like a bridge and their tails held straight out. They also swim expertly and climb trees with particular ease."



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