Ray Turner's picture

Feral Ferret

Observed: 20th April 2013 By: Ray Turner
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
Ray Turner’s reputation in MammalsRay Turner’s reputation in MammalsRay Turner’s reputation in Mammals

Flipping feral ferret fair fractured my day.
Walking away from inspecting a Long-tailed Tit’s nest (4 cold) and I spotted something move between tufts of grass a little way away. Slowly approached and saw a small mammal peering back at me; thought I was going to have one of those magical moments when as bold as brass out trots this ferret. Obviously habituated to humans with no fear he walks up and starts sniffing about and wanting attention. At this point I feel it may have been recently lost or abandoned so I start to phone a vet friend of mine for some advice, maybe it’s microchipped?
‘He’, I’ve decided it was a he, felt he had enough fun (or perhaps wanted more) and did the classic tv thing of sinking his teeth into me and hanging on – several times. Eventually he just trots off, bold as brass. My thumb is after I have staunched the not inconsiderable flow of blood.
Either he has been dumped out here on the common or someone was rabbeting and lost him.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


keredtrams's picture

pink nose would suggest

pink nose would suggest ferret

km1's picture

Ferret Assault

Unlucky. At least you got a good photo of your assailant. Perhaps you should put up a beware of the ferret poster.
What does 4 cold mean?

Ray Turner's picture

Ungrateful little .....

Sorry, nest monitor speak; 4 is the number of eggs in the nest, cold means they are cold to the touch. Most birds lay the whole clutch before they start incubating them so they all hatch more or less together. That these eggs are cold tells me the bird has not finished laying yet (that and four is considerably below average for a Long-tailed Tit).

If you would like more information on nest recording see www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/nrs, be warned it’s addictive.



km1's picture

very interesting

thank you

the naturalist man's picture


Definitely a ferret from the behaviour and appearance, polecats have more manners than to bite the hand that, if not exactly feeds them then, saves them!

Graham Banwell

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