Discover nature in Missouri this week as American mink kits travel with their mothers along streams.
Adult minks are almost entirely brown with a white chin and white spots occurring irregularly on the throat, chest, and belly.
At about two-feet long or less, adult minks are generally larger than weasels and smaller than river otters.
Minks have musk glands that secrete a strong odor considered by many to be more obnoxious than that of weasels or skunks.
Minks need permanent water and prefer woods nearby. They dwell along the banks of streams, lakes, marshes, and ponds, in bank cavities, hollow trees, and under tree roots, logs, or stumps.
Minks breed from February to April, and birth an annual litter of four to five young in early May. The family will stay together until the end of August.
Minks prey on numerous small animals, keeping their populations in check, and become prey, themselves, to predators such as great horned owls and coyotes.
Learn more about American Minks in Missouri with the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) online field guide.
Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.