Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Blog Monday, 04 June 2012 08:07
A large male stoat (Mustela erminea) has been filmed on a trail camera in a rural Kent garden at the start of spring 2012. Trail cameras often reveal the secretive and often hidden happenings of the wild animals and their adventures in our own back yards.
We were delighted to recently receive some footage of what initially appears to be a large male stoat that was filmed on a trail camera in March 2012, we would like to extend our thanks to Peter and Pam Payne for kindly allowing us to share this on our Badger Bushcraft Blog and our Badger Bushcraft YouTube Channel.
The stoat, also known as ermine, is an intriguing creature which I have been fortunate to observe at very close range on several occasions, including some years ago watching a group of three adults hunting their way through a rabbit warren on a hillside.
The white winter fur of the stoat, referred to as ermine and hence the other common name for this member of the weasel family, has a long association with heraldry where the skins of many creatures would be sewn together to produce a blanket of white with the black tails creating “spotting” as a counterpoint. Perhaps there was some other and more ancient association with the desirability to wear ermine as stoats are predators of great skill, tenacity and courage.
Stoats are capable of tackling prey many times their own size, which in the United Kingdom often includes the European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). However it is more common for males to hunt rabbits.
As can be seen on this brief video they are also adept climbers!
Many thanks once again to Peter and Pam for kindly providing the footage for our use.