One of our guests suspected an otter had been in the Cutler River, just about the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, after seeing some tracks and slides into the river. One of our Winter Guides went to check it out and upon further inspection they were ID'd as mink tracks and slides. This morning one of our staff got a few photos of the mink outside her office window near our bird feeders.
Mink have a long, sleek body about two feet long. Short,
stubby legs; a long neck; small ears and eyes and a long, thick tail. In
fact, one third of the mink's length is its tail! It has brown to black
fur with white fur on its chin and a little bit of white fur on its
throat. Its fur is very soft and thick and covered with oily guard hairs
that make the mink's coat waterproof. The mink has slightly webbed
feet. Perfectly adapted for winter life in and around water.
Mink, members of the weasel family, spend the majority of their day searching for food. Predators, mink will eat fish, crayfish, frogs, small mammals, and birds... basically anything they can catch. In winter mink will travel on the snow, bounding with a two by two pattern, slide on their bellies and also tunnel under the snow. Their den is usually in a river bank, muskrat burrow or old beaver lodge.Our local mink seems to be living in the bank of the Cutler River.
We are pretty excited to have caught a few glimpses of this amazing mustelid!
Photo credits: E. Kimble and K. Yakubowski