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Short-tailed weasel preys on golden-mantled ground squirrel

By Gary Bogue
Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 5:58 am in Golden-mantled ground squirrel, Short-tailed weasel.

Short-tailed weasel (left) checks out photographer after killing golden-mantled ground squirrel (right). Photo by John Ratcliffe, Brentwood, CA
1weasel gsquirrel john ratcliffe brentwood

Gary:
A couple of years ago I sent you a picture of an aquatic garter snake in the Jarbidge River (N.E. Nevada) with a captured bird.  Kind of a once in a lifetime occurrence.  We were back this year, and in the middle of town (Jarbidge, Nev., north of Elko and just below Idaho) spotted what we believed to be two small squirrels fighting/playing in the street.  As we got closer, we saw that one of the animals was some sort of weasel and there was no “playing” involved.  I’ve included a photo of the weasel after he had killed the squirrel.  I’m guessing it is either an ermine, or a long-tailed weasel.  All in all, another once in a lifetime adventure for us.
John Ratcliffe, Brentwood, California

John:
The weasel (on the left) is a short-tailed weasel, also called an ermine during the winter months when its coat turns white. It is smaller and has a lighter-colored belly compared to the larger, more orange-bellied long-tailed weasel from around here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The dead squirrel (on the right) is a golden-mantled ground squirrel, a favorite prey of said weasel. Great photo! /Gary

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2 Responses to “Short-tailed weasel preys on golden-mantled ground squirrel”

  1. Kimberly Palmer Says:

    Really neat to see my dads photograph in your blog. I wish I’d been there to see this in person – truly a cool shot and experience! ~ Kimberly Palmer

  2. Karen Says:

    Might the short-tailed weasel also be a predator in the eastern Sierra Nevada? Husband and I own some property there in the sagebrush (7500 ft) and the ground squirrels are ubiquitous. We’ve seen burrows in the ground that look a bit small for badgers, though we know badgers are local. Might there also be weasels?

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