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Stoat | by Derek.P.
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Stoat

Mustela erminea.

 

Body length 20 to 30cm plus a tail of 10 to 14cm. Can be distinguished from the Weasel by the black tip to its tail which is retained even in winter when it goes into ermine i.e. its coat turns white. An active and voracious predator which is exclusively carnivorous, the more heavily built male can take rabbits and hares; the female small mammals and birds. It can be seen day or night as it hunts along hedgerows and walls. However, it is difficult to see and it is usually only by chance and even then just a fleeting glimpse as it heads back into cover. Widespread throughout mainland Britain and Ireland.

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Taken on March 23, 2012