Weasels are among the most interesting and challenging subjects I’ve ever photographed. This one, from yesterday morning, fit the bill on both counts.
1/2500, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4 tc, not baited or set up
There were two weasels in the pile of rocks and debris but I only got glimpses of one of them. Conditions were about as challenging as they come with harsh sidelight and high contrast among the deep shadows and white rocks and following this little mustelid as it hunted for prey in the crannies and crevices was about like trying to track greased lightning. But dang it was fun!
1/2000, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4 tc, not baited or set up
In 15 minutes I never did see the weasel catch prey but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The setting was often cluttered but I liked this nonchalant leaning pose as the weasel scanned for voles and predators.
1/1600, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM, not baited or set up or called in
Once, when this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk cruised by, it was fascinating to watch the dramatic change in demeanor of the weasel from fierce and confident predator to vulnerable and cautious potential prey. In an instant the tables had been temporarily turned and it was obvious that the weasel knew it.
1/3200, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4 tc, not baited or set up
The long body and tail (the species is well-named) make it very difficult to avoid clipping the tail and at the same time get the rest of the body in the frame and sharp with a long lens. Its maneuvers through the rocks and crevices meant that its face and body were often partially covered with spider webs and other debris. Here you see some of it below its left ear.
1/1600, f/7.1, ISO 500, Canon 7D, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4 tc, not baited or set up
Even though I’m always on the lookout for them, in the eight years I’ve been photographing birds I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had reasonably good opportunities with weasels so this encounter was a welcome one. And following this little speedster with my lens as it ran over and through the rocks was a great test of (and practice for) my skills. I had a blast!
If you’re interested here’s three other weasel posts I’ve done in the past:
- Long-tailed Weasel – Efficient Hunter And Cannibal
- A Cannibalistic Long-tailed Weasel
- A Badger And Weasel Confrontation On Antelope Island