I was spending time at a talus covered slope, with hopes of getting a glimpse of an American pika. It was early winter and the snow was only two feet deep. This short-tailed Weasel (Mustela erminea) made an appearance, showing off the black “pom pom” at the end of its tail. It has a high metabolism and needs to eat often. This weasel killed a flying squirrel and stashed it in a hole. Over the course of 3 months, it had been seen preying on a variety of small mammals and birds, voles and pika. It climbs trees and hunts under snow in winter. A solitary pika did make an appearance high on the talus slope later in the day.
The stoat (Mustela erminea) or short-tailed weasel, is a mammal of the genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae.