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LJWorld.com weblogs Linda's Backroad Musings

Valley home to diverse wildlife

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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 area

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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.elli...

Comments

Linda Hanney 5 years, 1 month ago

Riverdrifter, interesting. It was a first for me. Glad to hear that maybe we have a few around.

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riverdrifter 5 years, 1 month ago

I drive the SLT from US 59 to Wakarusa daily and there are roadkill minks often. They're small but they are there.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 1 month ago

Hawks around here were really out in abundance on those warmer days.

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Linda Hanney 5 years, 1 month ago

Since this incident, I've been watching for birds of prey. I think there are more than usual this year. Maybe they are making a comeback from the bird flu several years ago. No wonder we don't have quail in the valley.

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Sandy Beverly 5 years, 2 months ago

I was lucky to see a mink in the Wakarusa Wetlands last year. Very cool little creature! I think I read that they are fierce.

Neat photo of the eagles. Sure makes my heart soar to see an eagle soaring. Always make me think of the line from John Denver's "Rocky Mountain HIgh": "You know he'd be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly."

Thanks for the post, Linda.

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Sandy Beverly 5 years, 2 months ago

I was lucky to see a mink in the Wakarusa Wetlands last year. Very cool little creature! I think I read that they are fierce.

Neat photo of the eagles. Sure make my heart soar to see an eagle flying. Always make me think of the line from John Denver's "Rocky Mountain HIgh": "You know he'd be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly."

Thanks for the post, Linda.

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Ronda Miller 5 years, 2 months ago

Owls and hawks have been known to take off with small dogs and family cats, Alia..they are quite large themselves. I watch our little boy Maltese closely when they go out to potty - at five pounds, they would make for an easy lunch or dinner.

That look like an ancient mink to me...died of old age...I hope...:)

Nice, Linda!

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Alia Ahmed 5 years, 2 months ago

Linda,

That is so interesting about the mink Chugaah found. Is the mink similar to the size of a small dog or a cat? It's amazing that a hawk or an owl would take on something that big. I thought they dined out field mice, etc.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 2 months ago

Linda, I'll write something later. but not until I get past the need to make a Randy Travis/Eagle banding pun. ;~)

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