Author Topic: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)  (Read 259 times)

Øivind Tøien

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The ermine passed inside through my magnetic bug screen after a little exploring outside. But then it got itself trapped in the hemmed bottom after it had explored my kitchen a little and tried to get out. No real panic when I tried to free it, and it then (curiously?) run back and forth everywhere before i finally was able to show it the door with the now open bug screen.
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After that we had a little photo session outside where it posed at the door steps.
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Beyond this very high cuteness factor
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One of the red-backed voles that live under my cabin and possibly in the kitchen floor during winter time (and is the ermine's prey) has also explored inside in the past and got itself trapped in exactly the same way as the ermine.
Øivind Tøien

Akira

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2021, 13:38:05 »
Interesting.  If it were someone's pet, I would say it's cute.  But its face looks really ferocious.  Wild animal at the end of the day.  Thank you for sharing!
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Øivind Tøien

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2021, 13:53:18 »

Thanks, Akira. Yes certainly wild, and feeding wildlife (beyond winter bird feeding) is prohibited in Alaska so it is neither legal nor wise to try to tame them. I still hope it stays in the area to keep the vole population down little. The cuteness factor is still pretty high in the voles too:

Øivind Tøien

Fons Baerken

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2021, 15:21:29 »
The animal's pelt was used historically in royal robes in Europe, and the term ermine also refers to the animal’s white coat, sold in the fur trade.

Hugh_3170

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2021, 15:44:29 »
Cute images Øivind. 

They are known as stoats in New Zealand, where they were introduced to help control the plaques of rabbits resulting from the introduction of that species. 

Stoats have caused untold havoc in respect of the native bird populations (along with the weasels, ferrets, hedgehogs etc etc).  Fortunately the British stopped short of introducing foxes like they did in Australia.  Then there is the havoc caused by the plant species that were introduced such as broom, gorse, lupins, nightshade, hemlock etc etc ....
Hugh Gunn

Bill De Jager

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2021, 19:11:35 »
Very nice shots of the weasel, Øivind!

Responding to Hugh, we also have problems with invasive broom, gorse, and hemlock here in California.  On the other hand, North America is the ultimate source of the invasive lupines in New Zealand.  Lupines are toxic and are unlikely to support wildlife very well (except for pollinators) in regions where they are not native.

David H. Hartman

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2021, 02:02:16 »
I still hope it stays in the area to keep the vole population down little.

A good Vole Year is a good Owl Year. I remember about a decade ago my front yard littered with owl pellets. The owls hack up the fur and bones. One could poke around with a stick and count the little jaws.

Dave

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FredCrowBear

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2021, 03:18:30 »
Cute images Øivind. 

They are known as stoats in New Zealand, where they were introduced to help control the plaques of rabbits resulting from the introduction of that species. 

Stoats have caused untold havoc in respect of the native bird populations (along with the weasils, ferrets, hedgehogs etc etc). 

In doing some background research for a kid's article (that was not accepted), my wife and I discovered that stoats are a significant threat to the little blue penguin in coastal New Zealand. 
Frederick V. Ramsey

Hugh_3170

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2021, 05:03:22 »
Yes Fred, they sure are.  Many of the NZ birds have ground nests and sadly the stoats attack them with ease.
Hugh Gunn

Øivind Tøien

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2021, 06:18:06 »
A good Vole Year is a good Owl Year. I remember about a decade ago my front yard littered with owl pellets. The owls hack up the fur and bones. One could poke around with a stick and count the little jaws.

Dave

An Vole, an vole was a merry old soul and a marry old soul was he...

Thanks all of you for the comments and David for the little poem.

Yes I have heard the Long-eared Owls and the Boreal Owls here through the whole spring, nice end to the day before getting into the bunk.

As I understand 'Stout' 'Stoat' is used as common species name in British English vs the American English more common 'Short-tailed weasel' name (Mustela erminea) . The Norwegian name "Røyskatt" can be translated to 'field of rocks cat' as they are often is seen hiding out in piles of rock in the mountains, jumping in an out of the holes . I thought I spotted the Smaller Least weasel (Mustela nivalis)in its white winter coat here this winter coming out from under my cabin (in Norwegian "Snømus" translated to 'snow mouse'), but it might be that the black tip of the ermine's tail was not showing up. Hopefully there are enough voles to keep it from robbing too many bird nests.
Øivind Tøien

Bill De Jager

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stoat)
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2021, 18:07:54 »
That would be stoat, not stout.  The latter, when used as a noun, is a type of beer.

We have both short-tailed and long-tailed weasels in North America but the latter species is only found much farther south than where you are.  The short-tailed weasel has a more northerly distribution and doesn't get as far south.

Øivind Tøien

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2021, 01:13:48 »
Thanks for the correction Bill. I have corrected the spelling (and the common name for Least weasel) above and added the scientific names. Thanks also informing about the Long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata), which was less familiar to me.
Øivind Tøien

David H. Hartman

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stout)
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2021, 01:17:35 »
Thanks, Akira. Yes certainly wild, and feeding wildlife (beyond winter bird feeding) is prohibited in Alaska so it is neither legal nor wise to try to tame them. I still hope it stays in the area to keep the vole population down little. The cuteness factor is still pretty high in the voles too:

If you can't hand feed the voles can you plant species that provide food for the voles. The more voles you have around the more likely the weasel will stay for lunch.  :D

Dave
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Bill De Jager

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Re: Visitor to my cabin (Ermine/Short-tailed weasel/Stoat)
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2021, 02:28:50 »
You're welcome, Øivind.  I had no idea what a stoat was fairly recently since the name weasel is so dominant in the U.S. for all our species in this genus.  As near as I can tell from a little internet research, here are how the names differ between the U.S. and the U.K.:

Mustela erminea is called stoat in the U.K. and the short-tailed weasel in anglophone North America. It can also be called ermine.
M. nivalis is called the short-tailed weasel in the U.K. and the least weasel in North America
M. frenata is called the long-tailed weasel in North America.

There is definitely room for confusion, with the name short-tailed weasel being applied to different species in the U.K. and North America.  In each region it has a shorter tail than another species of weasel found in the same area.

The first two species occur all the way from northeastern North America west through northern Eurasia to northern Europe and the British Isles.  This is what biogeographers call a circumboreal distribution, and it's characteristic of many plants and animals that live in the boreal forests and the arctic tundra to the north.