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Posted by: atowhee | September 20, 2018

MY FAVORITE MUSTELID OF THE WEEK

Beady eyes can be alluring.  At Boca Lake we encountered, enjoyed, interested and followed after a pair of long-tailed weasels. They came and went from their narrow burrow beneath a rabbitbush. They sped about, peered at us over shrubs, cavorted up slope and down, poked their agile feet and olfactory bulb into the business of the sagebrush steppe in which they live.  We large, oafish mammals were of slim interest to them, only briefly capturing the steady, unafraid gaze of the two dark, gloss eyes. Mostly they went about the business of the true weasel—sniffing, sighting, sorting, sizing up. Their diet is anything insect, reptile, avian or mammalian their tiny teeth can penetrate.  Their enemies would be the huger, strong badger who might dig them out, requiring a second burrow exit for security…or an occasional very lucky raptor.  Surprising these two would seem almost impossible, so quick and alert and speedy. The lawyer in our group admitted she had worked among many male weasels in her profession, none as fine or admirable as these two.

Click on any image to see it full screen.  For more on this weasel species, click here. Tne LT weasel is found mainly in damp habitat and in South America in montane areas.  Its range extends from Bolivia to Canada.  Length can be up to 14 inches, with females 10-15% smaller than the males.  The eat mostly ensconced in their burrows, comfortable and unseen.

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