Friday, February 22, 2019

Ermines everywhere!

It sounds like this winter has had a bumper crop of little ermines (short tailed and long tailed weasels in their lovely white winter coats) running amuck in Maine's woods and neighborhoods. Our first post about this phenomenon was back in 2006, and there has been a running commentary on the subject ever since. You can read that earlier post here: Mystery White Critter

We have heard reports from a bunch of places over the years: Poland, Troy, Brewer, Crawford, Casco, Harmony, York, and Naples for starters.

Today I have a treat for you -- one of the folks, Dave Taylor, who had an ermine as an unexpected houseguest earlier this year, had this to say: "We just recently caught a pure white weasel in our home with a live trap. Released him back into the woods on about 50 acres. Have several good photos and videos. Cute little guy." He was kind enough to send along some photos. I never realized exactly how petite they are!

Here is a glimpse of the little fellow in Dave's kitchen, so you can get an idea of his size:
And here he is, safely stowed in his trap, ready to be released back into the wild, just as devilishly cute as ever!
If you want to learn a little more about ermines, here are a couple of good resources -- an article on the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust site:
and another on the Natural Resources Council of Maine site: