Wild Things: In Search of the Elusive Mink
Mink are one of three weasel species that call DuPage County home. But even though they seem to have a healthy population here, they are quite difficult to spot in the preserves, according to District naturalist Abby Dean. The other two weasels native to DuPage County — the short-tailed and long-tailed weasel — are even tougher to spot, Dean said.
It’s easier to try to track minks and look for evidence of them than it is to actually spot the animal, she said. “If there’s a body of water that’s flowing, odds are you have mink nearby,” Dean said. “I find their tracks often enough, but I have only seen them twice,” once at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook and the other time at Springbrook Prairie in Naperville.
Mink are difficult to spot because they spend their time in burrows along the banks of waterways or hunting. “Sometimes they’ll spend days hunting a corridor, so they don’t stay in one place for long,” Dean said.
Mink are semiaquatic carnivores that eat rodents, fish, birds, rabbits, muskrats, crustaceans and amphibians.
Dean talks more about the mink on Wild Things on WDCB Radio (90.9 FM).