"A MINK'S FAMILY TREE" - Mink (North American)

March 08, 2023  •  1 Comment

"A MINK'S FAMILY TREE" - A Throwback Thursday Blog

Mink (North American) - 11 Photos



Having accumulated quite a number of photos of related minks over the past few years, I felt it time to put this family tree down, with a bit of their history.


My very first encounter with a mink was just over five years ago and eventually I came to know that this mink was a female (Photo #1 & Photo #2).  I repeatedly caught her fishing in a creek but it wasn't until I saw her with an enormous Prussian Carp (an invasive fish species) that I truly clued in to her gender (Photo #3). Having caught an amazing meal, she disappeared into a rock crevice & didn't materialize until 45 minutes later. (And yes, there I waited knowing, "one way in, one way out".) I expected to see only a mink exiting, having gorged itself on the fish but no, she slowly crept out, fish in mouth, and entered the creek. Then it dawned on me, the fish was for her entire family, her youngsters and herself.


A month or so later, I saw her entering & exiting her usual fishing spot & then close behind her, were two smaller minks (Photo #4 & Photo #5). From their size & appearance, I thought the larger one to be male (who I named Big Boy) and the smaller, a female (Little Girl or LG for short). Big Boy definitely had a much larger & flatter head. They followed their mother up a bank and to a much larger pond where I assumed they would be instructed in the art of fishing.


I never saw the young male again but on several occasions later in the month, I would see the mother first running along the creek, followed a minute or so later by the little female.


The following Spring, there was a "new" mink in town, a slightly smaller mink with a narrow face (Photo #6).  It was LG (Little Girl). As she had taken over her mother's fishing spots & wild mink live only 3 to 4 years,  I assumed that sadly her mother had passed and she had inherited her mother's territory. Again I would repeatedly see her fishing in the same fishing spots. Her approach & tactics were, however, completely different - another clue that this was not the same mink.


And again, that Spring whenever she caught a fish, it was back downstream with her catch, never pausing to take even a bite. Yep, a month or so later, I caught her running along the creek bed. Some fifteen minutes later, appeared not one, not two but three little minks in small, medium & larger sizes. And so they were named, Mini (for Mini Me because she looked like a smaller version of her mother), George & Sparky (Photo #7, Photo #8 & Photo #9). Sparky's name will become apparent. 


I went back to the same area the following day, hoping to spot at least one mink being that there were now four known minks in the area. After a period of waiting, the three youngsters appeared one at a time. The two smallest hit the rock pools looking for fish, the larger one went immediately to where his mother fished & not ten minutes later pulled out a whopper (Photo #10). Oh, Grandmother Mink would be so proud. So that's how Sparky got his name. He certainly "sparkled" when he appeared with that fish. (I wonder if he was allowed to keep it for himself or was forced to share when he got home?)


Last year, I scoured the same area for months & no minks. Being that Spring had come & gone, it didn't look good as this is when baby mink are born. And then on a hot day in very late July as I was having a quick snack by the creek, a mink suddenly appeared. My first thought was "that is one huge mink". It then proceeded to hunt in the grasses for rodents & fish in the creek. And shortly upon its arrival, up it popped with a sizeable fish. It could only be "Sparky", the oldest male (Photo #11).  


I had never encountered a full grown male mink before and I was amazed at its size & the "don't give a darn attitude". I saw Sparky a couple of times after that but I assume being a "fearless" male, his favourite fishing areas were the much larger ponds and of course the nearby river, particularly in the winter months.


I don't know what will happen this year. Hopefully, Sparky will meet up with a female & there will be more mink antics this Spring. One can only sit & wait! :)


PHOTO #1 - Grandmother Mink

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"YO - DOWN HERE!"

PHOTO #2 - Grandmother Mink (grooming on a log)

PHOTO #3 - Grandmother Mink with her amazing catch

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)'ON OUR WAY OUT"

PHOTO #4 - Little Girl (or LG)

PHOTO #5 - Big Boy 

PHOTO #6 - LG (or Little Girl) now Mom,  the following year

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"SLIDE OUT"
(Female - Adult) - LG or Little Girl (Mum)

PHOTO #7 - Mini Me (or Mini for short), the young female youngster

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"PEEK A BOO"
(Female - Juvenile) - Minnie Me

PHOTO #8 - Curious George (the smaller male youngster)

PHOTO #9 - Sparky (the oldest male)

Mink (North American)Mink (North American)"A GIANT LEAP FOR MINK KIND"
(Male -Juvenile) - Sparky

PHOTO #10 - Sparky (his first year) with his catch

Mink (North American) - JuvenileMink (North American) - Juvenile"FLY"

PHOTO #11 - Sparky, the following year. (It's all in the genes.)






Lovely story, as good as the photos!
I've read it with such pleasure, and I hope minks will not move because of the construction.
All the photos are marvellous, especially the ones with minks proudly holding their prey.
No comments posted.

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