least weasel

As we all know, weasels are long, narrow creatures with short legs. They are reddish in color with a white chest and belly. They are predatory carnivores and eat whatever meat they can get their teeth into. The advantage of their long slim shape means they are able to follow their prey into burrows and so may pursue small rabbits, mice and other rodents and similar burrowing creatures down their holes.

Birds and insects

They also prey on birds and insects if they can catch them and will eat birds eggs as well. Another habit weasels have is that of killing more prey than they can immediately eat and storing it for future consumption, rather like squirrels. Because they are creatures of habit, they will always prey on abundant species. Therefore, if there are a lot of field mice, then field mice will be the prey of choice until they become scarce. Then they will shift their attentions to other abundant species in the area.

long-tailed weasel
long-tailed weasel

A weasel’s diet varies according to the season

These rules are not absolute, as each season may find a different prey species in abundance in a particular habitat and this may become the season’s principal diet. Gophers as well are a particular favorite of the long-tailed weasel. Gophers are pests, because they eat at the roots of the crops so the farmers often welcome weasels as long as their hen houses are vermin proof.

Weasels are a pest

They got a bad reputation and were deemed by many farmers to be vermin or pests as they were suspected of getting into the hen houses and stealing poultry. They tend to bite their victims in the neck and feed on the warm blood. There are many other animals that also raid hen houses have different eating patterns and drag their victims into holes if they can. Nevertheless, weasels may get blamed for the damage they didn’t cause. Water sources are essential to a weasel’s survival and a fully grown adult may need as much as a liter a day.

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