American Mink on Lake Ontario, Toronto (February 2016)

The mink is a carnivore. It eats muskrats, rabbits, mice, chipmunks, fish, snakes, frogs and birds. It kills its prey by biting it on the neck. It sometimes stores extra food in its den. The mink digs its den in river banks or it finds a hollow log or an abandoned beaver or muskrat den. It never uses the same den for long.


My mustelids of Michigan collection is looking pretty good! From left to right: American badger (Taxidea taxus), river otter (Lontra canadensis), male and female fishers (Martes pennanti), American marten (Martes americana), mink (Neovison vison), long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata), and least weasel (Mustela nivalis). 

Assuming that wolverines haven’t been completely extirpated from the state (one was spotted in Michigan’s thumb several years ago), all I’m missing are a wolverine (Gulo gulo) and a short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea). 

Mustelids are easily one of my favorite mammal groups. They’re smart, vicious, and cute. Their skulls are made up of a large brain case and lots of sharp teeth. What’s not to love?