We Have Baby Minks on the South Fork of the Eel

Mink with a Lamprey on the South Fork of the Eel [All photos by Talia Rose. Follow her work on County Line Wild]

Local photographer, Talia Rose, talks about taking this series of photographs:

Ok Mink Lovers! Are you ready for Minky adventures????

I admit that I am a lover of light. It is what I call “divine lighting” that entices me out in the mornings. That glow of early morning or evenings that gives photos just the right feel. I admit I think wildlife should show up during this divine lighting. But, one thing I have learned in my years of stalking is that wildlife does not perform on demand. This morning was dark and overcast and almost misting. It did not entice me. BUT – I know that the overcast sometimes brings out the WILD. So – out I went. From the start it was magical. An Osprey was perched across the river. A Great Blue Heron waited at the mini rapids behind my house – but flew off quickly. A Fox – most likely the male – barked at me from the brush behind my neighbors. None of this did I catch with my camera. But I could feel the magic and kept going. Quite often, in our valley, it is all or nothing. Today was shaping up to be all. I watched the Raven family squabble over food. I watched a Merganser and was intrigued by the ripples near it. Hmmmmm…I zoomed in closer and sure enough..there was Minky – hiding in the grass at river’s edge. My first sighting of the season – almost exactly a year from last years sighting that let me know there were babies. I followed Minky for two hours – patient as I know sometimes it is 10 or 20 minutes between sightings. I watched her fish and wondered if she was solo or a new mama. Then I saw her catch a Lamprey! Small for a Lamprey but as large as she is. She brought that Lamprey all the way back down river to the den. To feed her babies. Folks – we have Mink babies again this year!!!!! I am doing a happy dance!!! Whoohoo! Congrats Mama Minky 

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38 comments

  • Anyone know what small long-necked animal lives out at Samoa? Minks, pacific martens, weasels, escaped ferrets, ?

  • This is great news! Thank you for the wonderful article and outstanding photos. Made my morning!

  • Rio Dell resident

    What a really fun and magical story to wake up to. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos with us!

  • thanks for sharing…awesome photos! so glad to see our area care about these animals, they are pretty great to have around.

  • Great photo’s, awesome news, and why its important to protect the South Fork Eel’s water quality. Thank you for the news, could not be happier…

  • Those things are hilarious,
    I watch them in my creek as well

  • YAY !! Plus outstanding fotos, thank you so much.
    Has anyone seen beaver ? or sign of beaver ?
    Follow the Light, my mantra as well.

    • Ernie Branscomb

      Yes. Beaver in Ten Mile Creek, Laytonville.

    • the mad river (below 101) has beaver.

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Nice beaver colony at Prairie Creek Redwoods. When we were there, the elk were wading in the beaver pond and eating water weeds like moose in the far north. Some say the “Sistine Chapel of Redwoods” is near there, but not designated. It can be a bit overwhelming, go easy on the perception enhancers. Another ho-hum day in the Humboldt Autonomous Region.

      Fantastic photos, great story. Talia won’t quit; she can’t quit. Please don’t try. I bet those babies loved that lamprey. Mommy did so well!! According to tribal and pioneer reports, lampreys are exceptionally rich and oily. Figures, since they parasitize salmon and further concentrate that already rich nutrient source. Mmmmm . . . .mmmm.

      One photo shows the lampreys sucker disc, by which they attach to salmon, clearly revealing their jawless mouth structure. Very cool. That’s why they are not true “eels.” Eels are fish, they have jaws. I guess the concept of jawless fishes has been dropped these days.

      • Cool I’ve never seen a beaver in Humboldt county seen them over in Sacramento though seen river otters playing around in the Klamath River quite a few times

    • Beaver in the upper hayfork creek off wildwood road plenty of beaver.

    • I’ve seen beavers in fresh water lagoon.

  • ~oh Talia Rose, what a gift your are!

    Between you and Kym/RHBB we just might bring Heaven to Earth w/out blood shed.

  • Great story and pics. It would make a great children’s book , almost as is.
    Love all your pictures in the papers. Thanks

  • Way cool and best thing I’ve seen all month, maybe longer. This is a new and exciting thing for all of us to see.
    Thank you for sharing it, Kelley. Totally rocks.

  • My house is where the mink farm used to be on Humboldt Hill. I was told they just released the minks when they shut down the farm . I have seen red ones on my back fence .

  • For those who may not know about & want to see more of Ms Rose’s photos, she has a Facebook group called County Line Wild!!! It features new photos every day!!!

  • Oh wow! What a great story and amazing photos. Thanks for brightening up my day!

  • I saw 3 of these guys playing in the Russian River in Potter Valley. They were totally unafraid and just rolling over each other playing. I had no idea what they were at the time but they looked like tiny otters. Very cool.

  • Nice to see more babies. We had a family come through our swimming hole last year, when my family was down swimming, the girls really enjoyed it.

  • Thank you soooo much, I look forward to every post you make, and all the photos in the Independent Talia…. your photography is such a blessing for us locals…

  • joy to the fishes and the deep blue sea,joy to you and me.

  • That should’ve been kept private for their safety. Don’t underestimate the greed and thirst of people. They’ve already wiped out entire populations of wildlife.

  • Great photo’s and comments. Thank you for sharing the magic with us Talia!

  • Kinda sad actually, our poor Martins have a hard time surviving. So many people have had Ferrets for pets, that have gotten loose. They kill the Martins! So will the minks! Martins are natural to the area, Ferrets and Minks are not.

  • How precious a sight is this? In a world where chaos swirls and hope often dwindles, to see these pictures makes my heart leap! Thank you, Talia Rose!

  • I’ve seen mink on the Salmon River near Somes Bar and beaver on the Mad River above Ruth..

  • The Real Keeping It Real

    What the – hey!! Whoa!! Some rude dude used my moniker! That’s not nice. But I kinda agree with them so I guesssss…well…it’s okay. I’ll let it go. This time.

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