Long-tailed Weasel Kits

Long-tailed Weasel Kits

Long-tailed Weasels Mustela frenata are the larger of the two weasels in Oregon. The head is flattened, the body is long and their legs are short. They are brown dorsally and yellowish ventrally except for a white chin. The tail is long with a black tip. They can be found throughout the state.

While checking my snake study boards I found a litter of four kits under a piece of tin. Female weasels will hide their kits in a secure location while she forages for food. In the picture above you will notice a cache of food that includes three adult voles and a juvenile. The mother will move the kits to a new location if disturbed or if she cannot find enough prey to sustain her kits.

Long-tailed weasels are active throughout the year. They are usually considered to be nocturnal although they are often active during the day. In the case of these kits, the mother was never present when we peaked. Weasels can swim and climb but they mostly hunt on the ground. They prefer tall grassy areas.

I have never seen a long-tailed weasel and this find made my day.


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