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shadylane
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Location: North Central Illinois

Funny how nature works

I have been overly blessed this year with black birds. They clean out the feeder of sunflower seeds, which I fill twice daily. And stand rock solid by not sharing it with the other birds. Plus make a terrible mess of the bird baths. Getting to the point, I was sitting at the kitchen table and saw this blurr of a creature running past the window. It sorta looked like a squirrle, but nooo...then it gave the impression of a enlarged over furred mouse.

Quickly I grab the camera and followed the excitement. There I found baby birds laying on the ground dead, black birds still squawking and still, up in the tree making haste was a long tailed weasel. I have never seen one of these creatures before.

If you look close you can see him carring a baby black bird, and before I could get there had thrown down 6 baby birds in total from other nests. Problem solved? It has been quite here for awhile, I have not seen any birds at all come to the feeder, in exception of sparrows. Once in a life time.... Im thinking he is going to stay for a spell.



[img]https://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b396/shadylane5acres/shadylane5/Blooms%20and%20Treasure%20Finds/mustelafrenataLong-tailedWeasel.jpg[/img]

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Wow, I've never seen one before. Such distinct color separation -- DD said it almost looks like a stuffed toy.

That process you described -- over abundance of pests followed by a predator to restore balance works at pest insect level too. It's an interesting phenomenon and I think having it take place indicates the garden is not being/has been released from too much human intervention/interference. (was I clear enough?) :D

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shadylane
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:42 pm
Location: North Central Illinois

Yes applestar you were clear in saying, and I thank you..

I have other pics that I will share but are not clear in viewing. This little guy isn't afraid of anything. If I was as quick as he I could have worked my camera faster with clarity

[img]https://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b396/shadylane5acres/shadylane5/Blooms%20and%20Treasure%20Finds/Folder1May2012133.jpg[/img]


[img]https://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b396/shadylane5acres/shadylane5/Blooms%20and%20Treasure%20Finds/Folder1May2012131.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b396/shadylane5acres/shadylane5/Blooms%20and%20Treasure%20Finds/Folder1May2012130.jpg[/img]

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Wallflower
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That is soooo cute! I used to have ferrets which look very similar. I've never seen a wild one before. Although the description of it sounds kind of brutal, at least your bird problems have been solved naturally. :)

lily51
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Location: Ohio, Zone 5

That's quite a photo!

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tomf
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I had never seen one like that before, I do not know if we even have them here.

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shadylane
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Location: North Central Illinois

Yes I would have to agree Wallflower he was cute, and there is a small resemblance as in our ferrets. In fact they share the scientific name 'mustela' also again you are right to say that they are vicious and fearless. In one of the other photo's he ran up at me a couple of times. I stood firm trying to focus the camera :lol:

So thankful he came to visit and to balance the bird population, I found this web site it may be of interest.
https://www.blackfooted ferret.org/mustelide bridled


Thank you lily51 for saying so, I was a little befuddled and a little excited at the same time, like discovering a new spieces :wink: but it was only that I had gotten that lucky shot to do a search. I had thought it being a mongoose at first the way he moved about but that is in Africa, how would one get here?

I have not seen one at all Tom, this has been the first and I've been on this earth for some time. You may see one yet, the 'mustelid' frenata, or long tail weasel, come down from south canada and are called "big stoat". They have a very large range of all united states and mexico which there, go by the name "bridled". Still traveling right down to central america and into northern south america.
Best chances to see them are near water as it is said. I live up a creek, dirt road and farm land in between. So any one has a good chance to see one. They live in a already burrowed homes such that as a mole or vole that they take over. They eat rats, squirrels, rabbits, chipmonks, moles, birds, reptiles, fish even earthworms and some insects. It is said that long tailed weasels jump up on their larger prey, grip tightly and bit the neck till dead. They are quite an animal for only being 71/2 to 15 inches in length. Thank you :)

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