The American mink is a semiaquatic mammal that can be found in most of North America. This animal is a key predator of small mammals, fish, amphibians and insects.
Wild American minks are always a dark brown or black with a small white patch on their chin and sometimes a white spot on their chest. Minks have long bodies and short legs, similar to weasels. Their partially webbed feet help them swim.
Mink hunt muskrats, rabbits, birds, frogs, fish, crayfish and insects. During the winter, they sometimes kill more than they need and stock food in their dens. Minks can climb trees and swim underwater to catch prey.
Birds of prey, bobcats, foxes and coyotes will hunt young mink. Once they reach maturity, minks are rarely hunted because they are well camouflaged, sneaky, and readily defend themselves.
Minks will purr like a cat when they are happy and hiss when they feel threatened.
Reproduction and Life Cycle
Minks mate in late winter to early spring. Minks, similar to many mustelids (family of carnivorous mammals including weasels, badgers and otters), go through a period of delayed implantation after mating. It can take up to 30 days for the embryo to implant into the uterine wall. Minks are born hairless and blind in the spring. After several weeks, young mink (known as kits) will be weaned and will leave their mother in the fall. Minks reach sexual maturity at ten months of age.
Did You Know?
Minks can spray a foul-smelling odor when alarmed.
Their partially webbed feet allow them to swim up to 100 feet in water.