A Long-tailed Weasel in its winter coat and morning fog

/, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Long-tailed Weasels, Utah/A Long-tailed Weasel in its winter coat and morning fog

Long-tailed Weasel in its winter coatLong-tailed Weasel in its winter coat – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 640, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

A couple years ago I missed being able to photograph a Long-tailed Weasel in its white winter coat because I was sick and stuck at home. Today I spotted a Long-tailed Weasel in its winter coat but the light wasn’t great and the whole area was socked in by fog. I did get some images of the little mustelid but I sure wish I would have had better light. It popped up a few times on top of some rocks and looked around.

Long-tailed Weasel in winter molt near a burrow of some kindLong-tailed Weasel in winter molt near a burrow of some kind – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 640, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

When I was editing this image I realized there was a burrow of some kind about a foot to the left of the weasel’s hind leg. It is that dark spot that has a gray rock at the 2 o’clock position and a orange colored rock at the 5 o’clock position. Long-tailed Weasels don’t usually dig their own burrows so I suspect this might be a vole burrow and voles are a prey species for the weasels.  This weasel moved fast and it was a challenge tracking it with my lens.

Long-tailed Weasel standing up showing its winter coatLong-tailed Weasel standing up showing its winter coat – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 640, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

These aren’t the images I had hoped for of a Long-tailed Weasel in its white winter coat but I am thrilled to have these. I don’t see Long-tailed Weasels all that often.

An interesting fact about Long-tailed Weasels is that they mate between July and August and because of delayed implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterine wall they don’t give birth until 10 months later with embryonic development of the kits occurring only during the last four weeks of the gestation period. I think that is fascinating.

These little creatures have weaseled their way into my heart.

Life is good.

Mia

18 Comments

  1. Linda Harris December 5, 2014 at 8:23 am

    I think the soft light is perfect. You have a nice catchlight in the eye.

  2. Jane Chesebrough December 3, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    love these shots, Mia, they are so cute, until you see their teeth.Hope that one at the park shows up this year.

  3. Jolanta December 3, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Beautiful images! Sweet little creature 🙂

  4. nikonsteve December 3, 2014 at 11:14 am

    For those of us who have never seen a weasel in either summer or winter coat, these are pretty cool images. Thank you for sharing your photos with us.

  5. Humming Bird Lover December 3, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Hi! I remember seeing them in Michigan when I was growing up! I have always been a outdoors person and loved living in the woods and creeks! I still do! Great photo’s. Keep up your wonderful work! Have a great day!

  6. Nancy Collins December 3, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Nice find Mia! I would imagine they hide well in the snow, but what about that black-tipped tail!

  7. Bob Bushell December 3, 2014 at 1:54 am

    Beautiful Weasel images, oh yes, I love it.

  8. SkyHawker4 December 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Elephant’s Child said it perfectly! Thanks Mia-Beautiful little guy.

  9. Ian Holland December 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Bad light or not, those are amazing shots!

  10. Sarah Mayhew December 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Beautiful and too cute at the same time! Nice shots!

  11. Lois Bryan December 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    These are gorgeous … what a beautiful little creature!!!!

  12. Patty Chadwick December 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    These are breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  13. Elephant's Child December 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    How could they not weasel its way into your heart – and ours.
    Thank you.

  14. Liz Cormack December 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Poor light or not, these are wonderful images. Thank you.

  15. John Randall December 2, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Wonderful Images Mia!

  16. Glen Fox December 2, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Mia,
    You did well and are fortunate to have had the encounter. I still dream of seeing one when I have my camera. Its probably 50+ years since I last saw one in winter. It weaseled its way into my heart too. They have a way of doing that! Glen

    • Carroll Tarvin December 2, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      I love these pictures and the information that you provided. This weasel seems so alert, all the better for his well being. Thank you for the pictures and the education.

  17. Carver Smith December 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I really liked those pictures of the long tailed Weasel. Not that I don’t like your bird photography.
    Thanks

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