Friday, September 26, 2008

Taming of A Shrew

Camera Critters


My son has a basement bedroom and one evening in his window well he kept hearing a noise. Well, being the curious boy that he is, he captured the burrower and put him in a fish tank. Being the son of a blogger he brought his find to his mother.


Being the good blogger I am, I promptly took photos to share. I thought we had a mole and I was all ready to use him for my “M” post last week, but when I looked him up in my Mammals of Wisconsin Field Guide, I discovered that what we have here is a Northern Short-tailed Shrew, and well, I’m too impatient to wait until I get to the letter “S” to share him. It looks like he has pinpoint light blue eyes, interesting.


Part of how I was able to identify him was that I took photos of him at all angles. Believe it or not this butt shot helped. Even though it’s really not a ‘keep’ photo, I often take photos of unknown beings from every direction possible for this very reason.


Being the good people we are, we did let him go and he has been happily leaving amongst my flowers ever since. Maybe he’s helping to take care of the spider situation, or maybe that’s why he chose his new home instead of scurrying away.


Proof he escaped. My grass isn’t very tall, even though it dwarfs him. He’s only 3-4” long and ¾-1” tall. He weighs less than an ounce, but we figure he could bite so he was only handled with containers, not bare hands. They’re only the size of honeybees when they’re born and weaned in two days, don’t you wish human babies were weaned so fast. . . And maybe even that they were that small when born? Except, if my baby was the size of a bee I would probably misplace it. Good thing their shrieks can be heard from 10 feet away, it might be the thing that would save my baby.


  1. What a cool lookin' little dude!! Beautiful little blue pin point eyes! You do have some crazy lil creatures hanging around your neck of the woods, Lisa! Glad that you were able to keep him for research, then release him into the wild to work on the spider population. Ours is terrible here this year!!

  2. Funny title, great discovery!
    Cheers, Klaus
    P.S.: Did see all your other post in my reader, but I'm ready to head out again to a gorgeous blue sky!

  3. I learned something new. I always thought those were moles.

  4. That is so neat! I have never seen anything like that critter before. How was his temperment?

  5. What a sweet cutie :D!

    I am reading your posts via reader. For whatever reason, your blog takes forever to load - for me :(

  6. What an interesting fellow! It reminds me of a childhood story, but for the moment i can't remember which one ;0)

  7. We see these alot the kittes catch them and leave them...and yea I think that'd be okay to have a baby that small and wean them in too days...but like you i'd probably loose it!!!

  8. How neat! You could have used it for your letter M entry anyway, I know I sure wouldn't have known the difference!

  9. Shrews should stay away from smart, curious people unless they want their picture taken and their whereabouts known!

  10. that was wonderful! the pics and the commentary!!

  11. What a cute little animal ! and how kind of you to let him go joining his girlfriend, lol !

  12. Look at those tiny eyes. You have a Mammals of WI guidebook? Cool.

  13. I’m so glad you’ve decided to join Camera Critters. This is a WONDERFUL ‘story’ with your series of critter photos … delightfully shared ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

  14. He is sooooooooooooooooooooooo CUTE!!!!!!! =)

  15. Great job with the photos and the identification! He's really cute, ya know!!!

    "and being the son of a blogger..." I love that!