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Friday, May 23, 2014

Ermine Neighbor

Last fall we noticed a pure white ermine with a black tip on its tail around our wood shed. I'm not sure if they hibernate or not but this spring we have observed one numerous times around the house that looks exactly like this little guy. They appear to be very good hunters and we have plenty of chipmunks, ground squirrels, mice, voles and rabbits to keep this one very well fed. The one we have observed is pretty small so we suspect it may be a female. I don't know if there are any males around but if so we may have more ermine in the future. Between the owls and this single ermine our pests are pretty well kept in check. We were over run with chipmunks last year but this year we seem to have a more normal balance.

This ermine darts around quickly and leaves no spot void of investigation when she is on the hunt which apparently is most of the time. The diminished sighting of rodents seems to be a good indicator of how effective these predators are.

As I have always said when we go outside we never know what we may see in the form of wildlife.

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