A Bog in the Northwoods (Part 3)

The Bog isn’t a place just for the birds. Mammals also lure droves of people.

This year, the star of the show is an Ermine, which is a Short-tailed Weasel in its white winter coat. It is commonly found near the Welcome Center this winter. While the Ermine appears to be very cute, it is a fierce predator. It’s coat changes color; white in the winter, and brown on top with white-yellow on its undersides during the summer.

This Ermine is like a Houdini. It uses vole and mouse tunnels under the snow and will pop up unexpectedly at a different location than where is disappeared. It also climbs up into vehicles in the parking lot, searching for mice. Sony a9 + 100-400mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter @ 288 mm, ISO 640, f/8, 1/1600. ©Stanley Buman. Welcome Center in Sax-Zim Bog.

Another mammal that draws a crowd is the Pine Marten. It frequents the bird feeders along Admiral Road, enjoying the peanut butter that visitors put out for the wildlife. This year, its appearances are less frequent and it tends to stay further back in the forest. In 2019, it could be seen most every day, right at the edge of the timber, visiting the feeders.

The Pine Marten, also a member of the weasel family, is an omnivore. It is a master of moving thru the tree canopy, often chasing and feeding on Red Squirrels. Sony a9 + 100-400mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter @ 560mm, ISO 1600, f/8, 1/1600. ©Stanley Buman. Welcome Center in Sax-Zim Bog. Copyright 2019.

Red Squirrels are quite common in the Bog. If you see a bird feeder, you are likely to see a Red Squirrel. It is the smallest squirrel found in Minnesota. Red Squirrels, also called pine squirrels, take on an orangish-red color in the winter.

Red Squirrels are very quick and have a long drawn-out chattering call. Sony a9 + 100-400mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter @ 560 mm, ISO 640, f/8, 1/400. ©Stanley Buman. Welcome Center in Sax-Zim Bog.

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