Animal #67 — Long-tailed Weasel

mustela frenata

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Colorado Springs, Colorado

With all the time I’ve spent walking and birding and fishing and sitting outdoors, you’d think I would have seen a Long-tailed Weasel at least once. I finally saw one today, and I wasn’t even outdoors (although it was). I was standing in the kitchen at work waiting for my Hot Pocket to microwave. I was looking out the window across the parking lot.

I spotted the weasel running across the pavement, heading north. It hopped up on an island and disappeared under a bush. I said out loud, “I just saw a weasel.” Several coworkers in the lunchroom a few feet away thought I said I’d seen a eagle. They jumped up and looked out the window. Just then the weasel left the cover of the bushes and ran across the rest of the pavement and disappeared into the brush and pines along Monument Branch. My coworkers were disappointed it wasn’t an eagle, but confirmed my identification.

The weasel was brown on top, white below. It had a long tail that stuck straight up as it ran. The whole animal was about 14 inches long, and the tail was five or six inches long. The body was very thin, humped slightly in the middle as it ran, with very short legs.

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