American Mink © Mark Lotterhand

Take 5: Mink Outside the Box

American Minks are members of the weasel family, averaging between 2 and 3.5 pounds, smaller than some of their cousins, Fishers and River Otters, but larger than others, such as ermine or long-tailed weasels.

They share many traits with otters, including webbed feet and a coating of oil to keep their fur waterproof. They are also semi-aquatic and carnivorous, eating mostly muskrats, fish, frogs, snakes, and small mammals. But unlike the more social otters, minks are loners and typically only meet up to breed and then part ways. They seem to share a bit of the otters’ playfulness, however, and can be spotted pushing through the snow or sliding down snow-covered slopes on their bellies. If you’re lucky enough to spot a mink in wintertime, it will likely be at dawn or dusk, as they are “crepuscular.”

Enjoy these five photos of minks from our annual Picture This: Your Great Outdoors photo contest and check out the recently announced winners of the 2019 photo contest on our website!

American Mink © Lauren Sullivan
American Mink © Lauren Sullivan
American Mink © Jason Barcus
American Mink © Jason Barcus
American Mink © Mark Lotterhand
American Mink © Mark Lotterhand
American Mink with Crayfish © John Harrison
American Mink with Crayfish © John Harrison
American Mink © Charlene Gaboriault
American Mink © Charlene Gaboriault

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