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Striped Skunks Ferreting Out Fungi


The perfectly round, inch-wide, ½-inch-deep holes in the ground that Striped Skunks leave when they’ve been digging for grubs are a fairly common sight. There are other edibles besides grubs, however, that they dig for: insects, earthworms, rodents, salamanders, frogs, snakes and moles, among others. The list isn’t limited to living creatures, however, as skunks are omnivores. Their diet, which changes with the seasons, also includes fruit, grasses, nuts and fungi. Pictured is a hole excavated by a Striped Skunk and the remains of the fungus that was fruiting there. At this time of year, it is not unusual to find that a meal of mushrooms is the object of their digging desire.

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8 responses

  1. Very interesting. Thanks for the post!

    November 17, 2016 at 7:31 am

  2. Tom Jones

    Mary – today’s post illuminating of course, but I am here wanting to say that I am enjoying your new ‘day-by-day’ immensely

    Tom Jones, Goffstown NH

    November 17, 2016 at 8:15 am

  3. Janet Andersen

    Mary, I so rarely see a mistake in your postings. Fungi, fruits, nuts, and grasses are living organisms and you must have meant animals.

    November 17, 2016 at 8:54 am

    • Thanks so much, Janet! Mistake corrected!

      November 17, 2016 at 9:30 am

  4. Kathie Fiveash

    In the white pine grove where I often walk there are dozens of holes about like what you describe, close together, round, neat looking. I have been assuming that they are made by the (mostly gray) squirrels that frequent these woods – though I do see more squirrels in the nearby mixed hardwoods. Is there a way of telling exactly who made the holes? Do you think they are actually skunk holes?

    November 17, 2016 at 8:57 am

  5. Kathy Schillemat

    Aren’t plants and fungi “living organisms” as well as insects and animals? Just saying.

    November 17, 2016 at 9:04 am

  6. I often find those holes in the woods behind my house. So happy to figure out what they are! Another great post!

    November 17, 2016 at 10:34 am

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