LJWorld.com weblogs Linda's Backroad Musings
Valley home to diverse wildlife
Most early, crisp mornings Chip Taylor and his dog make their way along the Coblentz marsh located in the Kansas Wildlife and Parks area of Clinton Lake.
As usual, there are ducks, geese and traces other wildlife from the previous night. Chugaah, a well-trained hunting dog, is nosing around his usual spots as they move around the marsh areahttp://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Feb/18/IMG_0014.jpg
It was during their walk Sunday morning that Chugaah found and retrieved this beautiful, large mink.
The American Mink is a member of the Mustelidae family, a carnivore and lives in dens by water. It has brown to black fur with a type of oil gland that makes the coat water proof. Often up to two feet long, the tail 1/3 their length. They have small bit of white on their chin and throat. Chip, a Professor of Entomology at KU, says, “Mink are not rare in this part of Kansas, but they aren’t common either.”
It is still a mystery how the mink was killed. “At first I thought the mink had been attacked by a coyote and then somehow escaped. They are quick and vicious fighters” However after further inspection of wounds in the neck region Taylor now thinks that the mink was attacked by, and somehow escaped from a bird of prey.
Dr. Robert M. Timm, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a curator of Mammals in the KU Natural History Museum agrees. “Perhaps a great horned owl or read-tailed hawk, both big enough to dive at the mink.” Timm adds, “This mink has a beautiful winter coat. Forty years ago this pelt would have been worth $30-$40.”This picture was taken the same day near the marsh however, I doubt if the mink coud have escaped an attack from one of these. On the other hand...http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Feb/18/1-17-08_136.jpg