Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Long - or Short - of It

I recently set up my camera in a dense thicket and was rewarded with photos of a variety of mammals.  A new one, or two in this case, for me was weasel.  Here are two shots of what I am taking to be separate animals.  The photos were snapped less than a minute apart, so I'm assuming that the very different colors of the two are not due to lighting conditions.  I am not sure whether these are long-tail or short-tail (a/k/a ermine) weasels.  Anyone?  The third photo is a butt shot of weasel #2.


  1. I would say short tail but that's just a guess. The tail doesn't look all that long relative to body length, but then again we don't have a side view of the body. I'd also guess it's just one animal because the entire second photo looks darker than the first photo; the color difference is not in the animal only. Also, I don't think it would likely to find 2 weasels in close proximity at this time of year.

  2. I accept that hypothesis, Janet. In re-examining the original uncropped photos, it does appear that a certain denser part of the brushy area had a darker, reddish cast to it. I had also thought that weasel #1 had more of a black tip on its tail, but that could be due to the way its body is differently angled in the shots.

  3. My vote's for Long-tailed. Tail does appear longer than ermine's and belly/chin area appears buff yellow rather than white...

  4. Just now researching weasels for a project. Both long-tail and short-tail can be buff yellow underneath. Long-tail's tail is usually at least half the length of the body, while short-tail's tail is less than half the length of the body. Very hard to call it here, without a good side view of entire body.

    1. Thanks, Janet. I'm about to put my camera out again in that area, and will make it my goal to get a better weasel body shot.