Several weeks ago, early in minks’ breeding season, the beaver pond was entirely ice-covered. Breeding season – that’s the reason two mink were traveling across the ice in the same general direction.
Two males on the scent of a receptive female? A male and female done with their rapid coupling and now going their separate ways? Only the mink know.
A couple of weeks later in the spring and much of the beaver pond was still partially covered in ice. A lone mink ran across the old road that borders the pond – mink don’t do anything slowly – and began exploring among the cattails and sedges edging the pond. Mink are closely tied to water (streams, ponds and wetlands) and partially webbed feet make them good swimmers. Wherever they are, mink are almost always searching for something to eat (a muskrat, small rodent, rabbit, fish, a duck, frog, crawfish, or songbird).
A few squeaks to imitate a small injured creature caught the minks’ attention and on it came. First it was on shore, then crossed a narrow strip of open water covered by a thin skim of ice and onto the sheet of ice –
It ran across the ice until WHOA, it slammed on the brakes and stuck it’s nose in the air as it caught the scent of a human –
After a few seconds of smelling the air it turned tail and beat a hasty retreat across the ice until it disappeared in the cattails and fallen trees at the far end of the pond –
Other times, other mink, they show little fear of humans and may approach to within a few feet – not this time, not this mink.