I was super excited to take Long-tailed Weasel photos yesterday morning while I was looking for birds to photograph at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area.

Side-lit Long-tailed Weasel portrait – Nikon D500, f10, 1/320, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

When I first spotted the Long-tailed Weasels next to the road, they weren’t in the best light. All three of them were to the east of me and my Jeep, which meant the lighting angle I had on them wasn’t optimal. It was kind of a cross between the weasels being backlit and side-lit.

I still liked the way this portrait turned out despite the lighting challenges. That small, silvery catch light in the weasel’s eye is actually my Jeep.

Two cars and two people on bicycles came by while I was photographing the weasels, and that was too much for them. The weasels ran off and hid.

Because I have photographed weasels before and know their behaviors, I had a feeling that the weasels were going to cross the road, so I drove off and, a few minutes later, drove back to look for them on the other side of the road.

Standing Long-tailed Weasel, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahStanding Long-tailed Weasel – Nikon D500, f10, 1/1600, ISO 640, EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I’m glad I trusted my instincts and went back to find the weasels a second time because the Long-tailed Weasel did cross the road, which meant that the angle of morning light I had on them was much, much better.

Long-tailed Weasel sticking out its tongue, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahLong-tailed Weasel sticking out its tongue – Nikon D500, f10, 1/1600, ISO 640, EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

In fact, I felt that the lighting angle was perfect. The fur of the weasels seemed to glow in the morning sun.

I was also far enough away from the weasels that I could photograph them while they stood on the rocks without cutting off their small ears. At times, I couldn’t see their very long tails because they were hidden behind the rocks.

Long-tailed Weasel side-eye, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahLong-tailed Weasel side-eye – Nikon D500, f8, 1/2000, ISO 640, EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Then one of the weasels came in closer, and I opted to take close ups of it while it appeared to give me the classic ‘side-eye’ for some unknown reason. I certainly don’t know what was going on in the weasel’s mind, but this image made me laugh. I’ve seen that look before from people and dogs.

Long-tailed Weasel in its sleek summer coat, Farmington Bay WMA, Davis County, UtahLong-tailed Weasel in its sleek summer coat – Nikon D500, f8, 1/2500, ISO 640, EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

A few frames later, while I was taking photo after photo of the weasel, I noticed how sleek the weasel’s summer coat was. In just a few weeks, these weasels will start to swap out their summer duds for their white winter coats. I hope I will get to photograph them in their snow-white winter apparel.

Long-tailed Weasel stopped on a gravel road – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1600, ISO 640, EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Having the Long-tailed Weasels in my viewfinder yesterday was a thrilling surprise. Paying attention to a small movement at the side of the road yielded these images. I’m very grateful for my keen eyesight.

I found one more weasel yesterday but before I could get my camera locked on to it a small car, being driven way too fast for the dirt road, went by and scared the weasel off. That sucked.

Earlier in the morning, I also had the opportunity to see and speak with my friend and fellow photographer, Jerry Ellison, yesterday by Glover Pond, and that was awesome. I hadn’t seen him in a very long time. Thanks for the calendar Jerry! It was so good to see you again.

Life is good.


Click here to see more of my Long-tailed Weasel photos plus facts and information about this species.

Autor Mia McPherson


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Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.


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