Where it lives
DIAGRAM of a short-tailed weasel
The weasel can be found almost anywhere in Canada (the coast,
the mountains, the prairies and the far north).
The weasel will move into a den of an animal that it has killed.
In April, two to ten babies are born in a burrow.
The nest is lined with fur from animals that the weasel has killed.
The mother watches them closely and takes good care of them.
In about five weeks their eyes are open. Young weasels begin to
hunt when they are about two months old.
The weasel has a tiny face, sharp teeth and claws, and a tail
with black fur at the tip. In winter it is white and in summer it is brown.
The short-tailed weasel is a tiny animal, only 15 to 23 cm long.
It hunts for rabbits, rats, birds, frogs,
ground squirrels and pika ( a small rodent that lives in the mountains)
. It eats hundreds of meadow mice. Weasels that live in the north
also feed on Arctic hare and lemming.
The weasel can find the open entrance to an animal's tunnel
and hunt the animal underground.
The weasel ususally hunts at night.
It kills its prey by biting it at the back of the neck.
Chicken farmers do not like the weasel. It can kill several
chickens at a time.
But weasels are useful animals because they eat many rats and mice.
The weasel may be small but it is
a good fighter and moves in a flash.
It is a silent hunter and can approach without a sound,
then rush upon its prey.
The weasel's coat changes colour.
The brownish summer coat turns white for the winter.
Just the tip of the tail stays black.
Some people say that a weasel smells worse than the skunk
( because of its musk glands ).
The slender (thin) body allows it to enter underground burrows.
Snakes, hawks and owls kill
the weasel. Weasels are trapped for their lovely fur.
photo - Steve Hilldebrand, USFW, public domain
The weasel does not have many friends.
Animals much bigger than it do not dare come near.
Some say the weasel will kill without reason even though it is not hungry.
It is not afraid to fight a bear or a porcupine.
Weasels are as curious as raccoons. They
look under every bush and sneak into holes.
Ferrets and minks are cousins of the weasel.
photo - short-tailed weasel, summer coat from NPS
other photos from Usenet
1999 (updated 2011)
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