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Published on Mar 21, 2009
We saw a weasel, hawk and eagles, all within a quarter mile along Mission Park Greenway on March 21. Counting its tail, a large Long-tailed Weasel male, the largest of the three species in Canada, stretches nearly half a metre (20 in) in length, yet can slip into a hole just 3 cm (1.25 in) across. This enables it to enter small rodent tunnels used by mice and voles. In summer, it enters ground squirrels burrows in search of its favourite food.When winter approaches, within 30 days it grows a coat of white, giving it perfect camouflage against the snow -- all except for the tip of its tail, which stays black. A hungry predator, such as a hawk or owl, aims for that black tip, enabling the weasel to escape. Sad to say we still trap weasels for their fur. How many of these little creatures have to be killed to make a jacket?