Shorttailed Weasel Vole


Printed on archival fine art matte paper using pigment-based inks.

Photograph Number: 13552


Long-tailed weasels are brown and tan in the summer and white in the winter. They are aggressive and quick carnivores with long bodies and short legs. This individual was catching rodents and taking them to a den about 50 yards away. It was probably a female with young. She was hunting, bounding along through and over the grass in flexible, spring-like movements. Several times she disappeared into the ground near a vole’s dirt mound probably going down the burrow to the vole’s nest. Reappearing after five minutes or so, she carried a large, dead rodent in her mouth. Raising her head high to avoid stepping on her prey, she ran along, stopping every 15 feet or so to look around. When she became concerned about some movement, she dropped the rodent and hid in the grass. After she felt safe, she retrieved the meal and proceeded toward her den which was on a steep slope with ground squirrel burrows all around. As she crossed the ground squirrels’ territory, the adult squirrels chased her, chattering in alarm, and caused her to drop the rodent again and zig-zag to outrun the squirrels. After she ditched the squirrels, she went back, picked up the rodent for the last time, and dashed out of sight into her den.

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