Debbie Schoop, has a mink as a backyard visitor and she took some video of it for us. You know I like to show video like that to our nature experts, and this time, I not only got the opinions of nature expert Amy Butler from the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier, I also got some feedback from a nature expert whose name is Mink!
"So Amy, explain to me, how did Mink get his name?"
"Well, Mink, also known as Owen Cheney, is part of the eco program at the Moretown Elementary School. Our North Branch Nature Center staff goes into the school and works with students on a weekly basis outdoors, and "Mink" is Owen's nature name!"
"Mink" likes his name so much, he kept it an extra year! He knows all about them and showed me his paper mache mink and the paper he wrote on them.
"I had some pictures, and some video sent to me at the station, and I always like to ask experts what they think about it, and I think this is a mink, but you have to tell me. Is that a mink? How do you tell whether that is a mink or not? How do you know it's not like a river otter?"
"Because it's smaller. "
"What are mink doing this time of year? "
"Getting ready for the winter!"
"How do they do that?"
"By gathering food."
"What do they eat?"
"Mice frogs and fish!"
"Mice, frogs and fish. Do they hibernate?"
Mink are interesting critters, but is it a good thing, or a bad thing if you have mink in your back yard? Amy tells us it's both good and bad, depending on how you feel about them eating your fish!
"Well, I guess it depends on how many fish the mink are eating that you've stocked your pond with. But, ultimately, it's a really good sign of a very, very healthy environment free of any kind of pollution. Mink won't stay, they won't breed if there's not a good food supply, and if it's not a really good, clean environment. So the fact that the mink is there, is a really good sign."
"Mink, if you couldn't be a mink, what would you be?"
"A river otter."
"Those are cool, too."
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