2021—The Royal Choice

Ermine, also known as the short-tailed weasel or stoat, turns white in the winter cold except for the black tip of its tail. In its winter coat, the Ermine was once sought after by European royalty and its fur was made into cloaks and hats and other fur-trimmed items that were a sign of royalty or wealth. England’s royal crown is lined with the white fur with its black accents from the tail tips. Ermine are no longer sought after as status symbols but this particular Ermine has become somewhat of a celebrity at the Visitor’s Center in Minnesota’s Sax Zim Bog. Although weasels are feisty hunters and fierce carnivores, this one was attracted to the partial carcass of a deer that was stretched over a stump as food for many of the bird species that visit the Sax-Zim Bog area. It knew a good thing when it found it. And we did too as we watched, fascinated, as this tiny white critter scurried up inside the carcass, stripping off pieces to consume and occasionally peeking out to check on its audience.