"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Thursday, March 8, 2012

American Mink In A Small Stream...

This post is  the culmination of many hours, on different days, of effort dedicated to observing and photographing this large, male, American Mink.  Trappers in the part of West Virginia where I grew up would call it a "buck mink" referring to it's sex and size.
 
According to Wikipedia: "The American Mink are dark-colored, semi-aquatic, carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae, which also includes the weasels and the otters and ferrets. The American Mink is larger and more adaptable than the European Mink. It is sometimes possible to distinguish between the European and American mink; a European Mink always has a large white patch on its upper lip, while the American species sometimes does not. Thus, any mink without such a patch can be identified with certainty as an American Mink, but an individual with a patch cannot be certainly identified without looking at the skeleton. Taxonomically, both American and European Minks used to be placed in the same genus Mustela ("Weasels"), but most recently the American Mink has been re-classified as belonging to its own genus Neovison."
I am very happy that my patience was rewarded and that I was able to capture this series of photos.

In this photo the mink is swimming towards a large log that has fallen into the stream...

When he gets to it, he investigates every nook and cranny to find anything edible...


It appears his efforts were rewarded when he came up with a small fish...


On another day, he arrived at the same log by coming down the stream bank...


I guess the slope of the log and the warmth of the day brought out his playfulness...

He used the log as a sliding board and slid a short ways to the edge...


His explorations led him closer and closer to the end of the log, and nearer to me...

In this photo the sound of the camera's shutter has alerted him to my presence...

 

He became apprehensive and reversed his couse...


In this photo he is scampering away using the bushes on the stream bank for security...

This is the first time I have been able to photograph a mink so extensively.  It may well be my last opportunity given the shy nature of these beautiful creatures.  Thanks for sharing it with me.





















4 comments:

  1. Very nice sequence of images. They are just beautiful! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good job, amazing photographs, it is a beutiful animal
    I like to see American mink in their environment, in America
    in my country the American mink is a problem, because of human farms, has been released ,
    And that has endangered the survival of European mink
    greetings

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of this fellow. Your persistence has paid off well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks to you all for your comments. It is nice to hear that others appreciate nature as much as I do.

    ReplyDelete

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