[Tweeters] Mr. Towhee meets a weasel

vickibiltz vickibiltz at gmail.com
Tue Jun 23 23:27:47 PDT 2015

Enjoyed reading this, as we added weasel to our mammal list two days ago, on our 7 acres. Quite a surprise. Not such an exciting event, as ours just ran across the road.
Vicki Biltz
Buckley, WA
Vickibiltz at gmail.com

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jun 23, 2015, at 7:55 PM, Rob Sandelin <nwnature1 at gmail.com> wrote:


> For as long as I have lived here we have had towhees nesting in the yard. Right now the yard is full of youngsters and their somewhat anxious parents, trying to feed them still even though each brood is pretty scattered. I have a basement window that looks out at ground level right beneath the large cedar tree and Salmonberry tangle and looking out that window is like laying on the ground. I can see right into the shrub tangle. This is a favorite hangout of the towhees and today as I looked out the window there was an odd shape which turned out to be a weasel. The weasel had its front paws and upper body on a log and it was standing very still, which is surprising for a weasel. There were two juvenile towhees about 3 feet away from the weasel, who very slowly slithered over the log, clearly in hunting mode. Suddenly out of nowhere an adult male towhee ran into the scene from stage left and the two youngsters flew up into the lower branches of the cedar. The Weasel charged at the adult who sort of bounced up into the salmonberry and just as the weasel leapt, bounced again into the tree. The weasel scrambled up a vine maple, as agile as any squirrel, but by the time it got to where the bird had been, it was airborne across the yard. This all happened in about 5 seconds. I ran out the back door hoping to see more but the weasel was well up and climbing into the cedar. I had never thought much about weasels in trees but this one was very adept and ran along a horizontal branch, jumped a 3 feet gap onto the gazebo, following the route the squirrels usually take. It stopped briefly at the feeder, as if making a plan, but then continued down the other side and into the yard. By this time 4-5 robins had gathered and were alarm calling, a couple towhees added to the noise and shortly a Steller’s Jay joined the fun. The weasel disappeared into the woods, followed by an entourage of screaming birds.


> Rob Sandelin

> Naturalist, Writer, mostly retired teacher

> Snohomish County

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