Tracking Quiz website

Tracking Quizzes

Quiz #7 - Answer

  
The answer is MINK.

I arrive at the answer of Mink by starting with the 2-2 bounding pattern, this is classic for the smaller members of the weasel family.

Next I look at the belly width of 2"; too small for otter or fisher, too large for ermine, that narrows it down to long-tailed weasel, mink, or pine marten.  I can tell you there ain't no pine martens in
Hartford, Connecticut, so it's either weasel or mink. Both weasel & mink are good swimmers, but mink live in the water and only occasionally come onto land, whereas it's vice-versa for weasel. Photos E1-E5, going onto land for a short distance and then right back into water, suggest mink.  Also the belly slide suggests mink. 

Photos E6-E10 suggest the animal was swimming under the ice of the pond and hunting crayfish.  Weasel is a good swimmer and a good hunter, but I highly doubt it's a good enough swimmer to hunt under the ice. That's why I say mink.  Anyone have an alternate opinion?

What I have learned from this is that mink can turn up where you might not expect them - in a stream that drains out of the city dump, for instance.  Mink move around a lot; they don't den at any particular spot for long, so you have to put in a lot of Dirt Time to get lucky enough to encounter signs of mink.  I have also learned the powerful cleansing effect of a marsh - in this case, the nasty water draining out of the city dump is purified by the marsh to the extent that there is a bounty of fish, crayfish, and clams in the stream, which attract muskrats, otters, and even mink.

  

Quiz #7 - Question      ...on to Quiz #8

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