An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Mink Sliding

1-18-16 mink slide IMG_2668Most animals stay holed up immediately following a snowstorm — often 24 hours go by before a lot of tracks can be found. One of the exceptions is the Mink, whose activity does not seem to be curtailed by the weather. Like other weasels, this bounding carnivore often leaves diagonally paired tracks, but unlike other weasels, its tracks are consistently the same distance (1 to 3 feet) apart. They also are most prevalent in or near wetlands. It is not uncommon, when a Mink comes to a hill, for it to slide down the hill, creating a three-inch-diameter groove that starts and ends with paired tracks. Unlike its close relative, the North American River Otter, a Mink does not usually slide on level ground or uphill.
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11 responses

  1. Hi, Mary. I’m just curious – did you find this lovely photo op this morning? It’s so perfect to see this as I look out at the new snow cover. Thanks! Dell

    January 18, 2016 at 9:02 am

    • Hi Dell,
      No, not this morning, but in conditions that were very similar to this morning’s! I can’t get out early enough in good light to frequently photograph something the same day I post it, though it is often within a day of doing so!

      January 18, 2016 at 9:37 am

      • I would have been amazed to hear that it had been photoed today. I do love how often your posts are so perfect for the day that they appear – this is yet another wonderful example of the artful sensitivity you bring to your blog! Thanks again…

        January 18, 2016 at 11:06 am

  2. :o) I’d love to see it happening!

    January 18, 2016 at 9:06 am

  3. k

    Do you think they slide just for fun? It sure looks like a good time! I know there’s a good reason that they do this but I like to think it’s just because they want to!

    January 18, 2016 at 9:19 am

    • For sure, with otters, it’s sometimes play, as they do it on the slightest provocation. With mink, it could well be play, but also saves them precious energy!

      January 18, 2016 at 10:19 am

  4. Sherrill Redmon

    How do otters slide uphill?

    January 18, 2016 at 9:50 am

    • On slight inclines, otters use their hind feet to push themselves uphill while on their bellies!

      January 18, 2016 at 10:18 am

  5. I’ve seen otter slides, but never mink slides – didn’t know they do it, too. Cool!

    January 18, 2016 at 10:23 am

  6. Edward Parsons

    Mary, this beech tree had some interesting things on top branches about 35 feet up. The leaves had remained, and I wondered if they were a sort of witch’s broom, or if they were animal made.What do you think? Ed Parsons

    January 18, 2016 at 6:31 pm

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