American Mink Crossing

Chuck Gardner

Veneta, United States

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I took this “American Mink Crossing” from an island in one of the ponds in his territory at the Fisher Butte Unit in the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area of Lane County, Oregon. The American Mink are very territorial animals. A male mink will not tolerate another male within its territory, but appears to be less aggressive towards females. Generally, the territories of both male and female animals are separate, but a female’s territory may sometimes overlap with that of a male. Very occasionally it may be totally within a male’s.
The territories, which tend to be long and narrow, stretch along river banks, or around the edges of lakes or marshes. Sizes vary, but they can be several miles long. Female territories are smaller than those of the male.
Each territory has one or two central areas (core areas) where the mink spends most of its time. The core area is usually associated with a good food supply, such as a pool rich in fish, or a good rabbit warren. The mink may stay in its core area, which can be quite small, for several days at a time, but it also makes excursions to the ends of its territory. These excursions seem to be associated with the defense of the territory against intruders. It is likely that the mink checks for any signs of a strange mink and leaves droppings (scats) redolent of its personal scent to reinforce its territorial rights. (Info from; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mink )

Taken with a Canon PowerShot SX10 IS on 8/16/09, TV 1/500, AV F5.70, ISO 200, and Focal length at 100.00mm.

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