We saw this Weasel run across the road, so I jumped out of the car and watched as it disappeared into the shrubbery up slope. So I started making my "squeal" call, which is an imitation of a bird being attached, and the Weasel came running down the hill and basically stopped at me feet. Fearing it might climb up on me and attach me face, I stopped and got some photos, and then it quickly ran off back up the hill. I've never encountered such a bold inquisitive Weasel, nor been so close to one. The entirely white belly, along with the very small size, make this a "Short-tailed" Weasel, AKA Stoat or Ermine. Most Weasels here are Long-tailed Weasels, which are larger,longer tailed and have a yellow belly. Short-tailed are uncommon in Utah and the Rockies, and mostly found at higher elevations here. Our Short-tailed's are the smallest in the world, being barely bigger than a Least Weasel.
Ermine (Short-tailed Weasel) at our Yellow-bellied Bog in the Sax-Zim Bog (photo by Sparky Stensaas/www.thephotonaturalist.com)
This is likely a Short-tailed Weasel (Mustela erminae). Short-tails are called Ermine in winter when they turn white [February; Sax-Zim Bog, St. Louis County, Minnesota] Photographed along north end of McDavitt Road in the Sax-Zim Bog (photo by Sparky Stensaas/www.thephotonaturalist.com)
No idea how it got here
No photo. Bounded onto the walking track, paused briefly, then continued on into the vegetation.
The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the short-tailed weasel, is a species of Mustelidae native to Eurasia and North America, distinguished from the least weasel by its larger size and longer tail with a prominent black tip. The name ermine is often, but not always, used for the animal in its pure white winter coat, or the fur thereof. In the late 19th century, stoats were introduced into New Zealand to control rabbits. The stoats...