Tim Melling – Stoat

Tim writes: what’s the difference between a Weasel and a Stoat?  I remember the old joke from my childhood about one being weasily recognised as the other is stoatally different but they are not easy to separate unless you get a good view. 

Weasels are small, from head to tail ranging from 21-27cm including a 4-5cm tail, with males being bigger than females.  Stoats are noticeably larger, with a head to tail length ranging from 31-49cm including a proportionately longer tail of 7-12cm.  The tail of a Stoat, as well as being long and bushy, has a diagnostic black tip, visible here.  Weasel tails are thin, short, and all one colour.   

I photographed this Stoat in a local woodland in spring and is the first half-decent photo I have ever managed.  Pretty sure it’s a female as it wasn’t very big.   I crouched down really low to capture the background flowers.