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Weasel
  • The weasel has a small, high-quality pelt.
  • The weasel is slender with a long body and short legs. It has a very small head; long neck; and short, rounded ears. The underparts are white with shades of dull yellow. In southern areas of North America, most weasels keep their dark brown upper coat throughout the year. Farther north, white winter coats are often seen, especially on short-tailed weasels (ermine). Even in the northernmost parts of the United States, however, some long-tailed weasels stay brown in the winter.
  • A small relative of the mink, the weasel is secretive and difficult to observe. Nevertheless, weasels are considered common throughout farmlands, forests, prairies, swamps, and marshes. Almost any place with abundant water and rodents is likely to be occupied by weasels.
  • Weasels nest in sheltered, relatively undisturbed spots. A weasel's den may be found in a rock pile, stump, log, old foundation, or pile of rotting vegetation; under tree roots or a barn; or underground in a mouse burrow or old woodchuck den. The nest is lined with feathers, fur, and other remnants of past meals.
  • Young weasels are tiny at birth but grow rapidly. At two months of age, they are hunting and nearly independent. The male is thought to protect and feed the young until they can take care of themselves.
  • Weasels have many enemies. Eagles, hawks, owls, and mink prey on them. They have been known to die of excitement in captivity.
  • A high-pitched shriek is the weasel's most common sound. Weasels also hiss, bark, snarl, and make peculiar noises that sound like "took-took-took" and "choo-choo-choo."
  • The weasel's relentless destruction of mice and rats makes it beneficial to agriculture. Weasels are full of energy and constantly on the move. They spend most of their time seeking food, usually following their highly developed sense of smell. On occasion, however, a weasel will raid a poultry house and can nearly wipe out a henhouse in an evening.
Weasel map
Weasel Range
Weasel tracks
Weasel Range

Weasel Facts

  • Mating: probably monogamous.
  • Breeding period: July to August.
  • Gestation Period: 205 to 337 days; average 280 days.
  • Birth period: late April to early May.
  • Litters per year: 1. Number of Young: 4 to an average 6 per litter.
  • Age females can breed: 3 to 4 months.
  • Adult weight: 3 to 4 ounces.
  • Life expectancy: 1 to 2 years; maximum 4 to 5 years.
  • Feeding time: mostly at night.
  • Movement: home range 30 to 40 acres.
  • Typical foods: any small mammal up to rabbit size (rats and mice are preferred foods); also birds, eggs, and insects.