American Mink Cub Along the South Fork of the Eel

From Talia Rose:

This summer I was blessed to have about 15 encounters with an American Mink family. The Mink has been a very rare sighting along our river ever since the “California Fur Rush” in the 1800s when they were trapped almost into extinction. They are beginning to come back, with several breeding pairs in our area. Minks, like most wildlife, do not stay in one place and move up and down the river. They are very tiny, roughly a foot long with males slightly larger, and excellent hunters.
My encounters with them this summer began when I spotted a female catching crayfish, lizards, fish and even wood rats and bringing it back to a den. By the behavior, I knew there had to be babies. A few weeks later I found the super adorable babies who were smaller than 6″ long. I confirmed there were at least two. After several more encounters, I watched as they began to learn to hunt, and figured they were about 8 weeks old at that time. My most recent encounter, this week, puts them at about 4 months old. Mink babies strike out on their own in the fall and this one seems to have done that, and to be a skilled hunter, just like it’s mom.

More of Talia Rose’s photos can be seen at her website here.



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