Weasels and Their Relatives

My friends in town are mourning the loss of their laying hens. Thirty-one of the birds were killed over a short period of time this spring. The carcasses were left intact, minus the heads. The killing spree culprit? A weasel. When they told a neighbor about the loss, the neighbor said they’d lost twenty chickens. It seems no matter how tight a person predator-proofs the henhouse this little killer has a way of weaseling in.

As a culture we learn about weasels as toddlers through nursery rhymes and toys like the Jack in the Box. In fact, June 14 is National Pop Goes the Weasel Day in the USA. That song came to mind one day as an adult when I watched a family of weasels in a large woodpile, popping their heads up and disappearing at various locations making it impossible to count the exact number of these agile animals. I found the experience fascinating because it’s so rare to see these creatures.



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