Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mink in Maryland

Who knew there was mink in Maryland? 
This week a mink was killed by a car out on the main road in front of our house.  Randy happened to be driving by right after the mink's ill-fated accident.  He checked the mink to see what it actually was and if it was still alive.  It had died.  At first he wasn't sure what it was because we didn't think we had mink in this area, but after some quick research from the Maryland Department of Natural Resource (DNR) webpages we determined it was, in fact, a mink.

From the MD DNR webage:

Mink are small cylinder shaped animals ranging from approximately 19-30 in., and 1.5 - 4 lbs. Males tend to be 1.5 times larger than females. Their fur is short and glossy and can vary from light brown to almost black. They also possess white chin and/or chest patches that vary in size from individual to individual. Mink are semi-aquatic and utilize all types of quality wetlands within their range. They frequent suitable bodies of water ranging from fresh and brackish marshes to farm ponds and fast moving trout streams. Dependent on seasonal availability, mink prey upon birds, small mammals, fish, amphibians, and crustaceans. 

I certainly wouldn't call this area "quality wetlands", although there is a stream/small river which runs through the area.  I'm going to have to take the ATV out to see if there's any water left in the little river - maybe this weekend.  The mink in the area, if there are any more left, are probably hating the dry hot summer even worse than we are!


Kay said...

Too bad!
Now that you know they are there, perhaps you will see them alive. We used to watch them by a stream where we camped when the kids were little. Once a mother with five little ones scampered single file down a grassy embankment--even though there were many people in the area.
I enjoyed your blog!

Lisa said...

Oh my!!I hope you don't get mink. Read my last post. We have mink around here and they are the worst animals around. They love to kill for sport. If they get in your chicken coop they'll kill till they're all dead.

They are nasty vicious creatures. I call them the Tasmanian Devil of Nova Scotia.

Razzberry Corner said...

Kay - Maybe we will see them now that we'll be looking for them. I'm surprised that mink can live in close proximity to fox, but I guess they can get away in the water (not that there's much water around here).

Thanks for visiting!

Razzberry Corner said...

Lisa - I had no idea that mink are chicken killers!!! I'm sorry sorry they killed so many of your chickens! Thanks so much for the warning!!

Poconoangel said...

A mink! Wow! You never know what you will find next! Just thinking of all those mink stoles people have worn!! Ugh!-Barb

Gail said...

Minks are beautiful animals. They do like fish.

People use to raise them just for their pelts.

AJ-OAKS said...

Even though mink can be a nuisance to chickens, I still think it is way cool to see one ( even though the poor critter was dead). Honestly I didn't even think mink were still around in the wild. Figured they were all farm raised these days.
Their fur looks so much better on them than it does a human!

Lisa said...

Around here people still raise mink for their pelts. Most of the farms here are very large mink ranches. If we didn't have the mink industry around here it would be very very bad.

As much as I hate the darn things we need them also.

Oh and mink also kill ducks and small cats. They chew the head and then suck the blood and leave the carcass there.

Very nice animals.

Genny said...

I had no idea that mink lived in this area either. What a beautiful animal. They must have plenty of food if you haven't seen them close to your house or chickens in all this time. Poor little thing.

Razzberry Corner said...

Barb - You are right, you never know what we will find!!!

Gail - It is kinda pretty. And it's only it's summer coat, I'm sure it would have much thicker fur in the summer.

Cindy - I really didn't know minks were in this area at all.

Lisa - I hope the mink family doesn't come to my chicken house searching for easy food now that the male provider is gone...although we have a pretty secure fence around the chicken pen. I thought Randy was nuts for making such a fence - over a foot of rebar buried under the fence, then concrete underground, then fence above ground. There's no way anything can get under that fence.

Genny - I'm just amazed what we find here. I want to see a bobcat next! Lol!


Knatolee said...

Poor little devil. Hope it was quick! I won't vilify them; minks have a place in our world just like all creatures (with the possible exception of mosquitoes!)

We used hardware cloth all over the inside of our coop (and I do mean covering every squure inch, apart from door) to prevent minks and weasels and whatever else from getting in. So far, so good. Fingers crossed. I think it's very cool you got to see a mink. We have fishers here, which are like oversized minks. They can kill and eat porcupines!

Robin said...

Wow, I have never seen a mink before. That is a cool sighting as long as they don't become a pest to you. So...did you skin it and make some mink gloves... ;) hehehehe

Razzberry Corner said...

Robin - The people that randy made the saloon for wanted to get it stuffed and mounted. So Randy brought it home and put it in our freezer (in a plastic bag) until they got home. Then I came home & found it in the freezer - "Honey, did you go to some new market today? I found something weird in the freezer!!" Then he told me about it! It's not everyday I find a mink in my freezer!