Weasel on the feeder

It's pretty rare to see a Stoat or Weasel in one’s garden, but in Roxburghshire Jane Allan has had the latter coming to her homemade fat cake. In Jane’s words:

“It climbs up the diagonal stem of the Sweet Briar Rose to reach the fat cake, has a good feed and climbs down with a large piece of fat in its mouth. This is usually in the middle of the day. The birds keep a respectful distance, ‘though the boldest was a Long-tailed Tit which waited, quite close, for nearly a minute for an opportunity. The fat cakes are made from rendered beef suet with medium oatmeal, crumbs from the toaster and cheese rind. The Weasel concentrates on the suet.”



Weasel enjoys Jane's homemade fat cake.

It can be a bit tricky to tell Weasels apart from their cousins, Stoats, but there are a few notable features to look out for. Most importantly, adult Weasels (head and body c.20 cm, tail c.4.5 cm) are smaller than adult Stoats (head and body c.28 cm, tail c.9.5 cm). As well as the tail of the Stoat being longer than that of the Weasel, both in absolute and relative terms, it is also tipped black, which is not the case in the Weasel. As you might imagine, it is difficult to photograph these animals, but you can make out these features in the pictures below. Of course, we would love to see any photos that you have of Weasels and Stoats (gbw [at] bto.org).



Weasel



Weasel



Weasel



Stoat



Stoat



Stoat



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