View Full Version : Mink with Chipmunk Surprise Encounter.

Daniel Cadieux
06-03-2015, 07:11 PM
I was walking leisurely in a local park, looking for stuff to photograph (mainly birds of course) when from around a bend I came face-to-face with a Mink which had a Chipmunk in its mouth. We both surprised each other and the mink immediately jumped into the pond and began swimming across! I frantically took some frames and hoped for the best. Here's one from that initial opportunity:


After this, I decided to run around the pond in hopes that it would swim towards me. The plan was to outpace it, lay low, and wait. Amazingly the plan worked to perfection but I had no time to wait - these guys are fast and agile swimmers!!. Only thing was that the weather was so unseasonably cold and my hands were frozen, 30mph winds added to that coldness and also beat against my lens hood like crazy. On top of that I was short of breath after running 300 yards around the pond, breathing heavily and my heart was pounding pretty fast. Adding up all those "conditions" made for very tricky focusing on the incoming mink. I am usually very methodical in my photography, letting go small bursts at opportune times, but here I did something I very rarely do: machine gun it and pray! I filled the buffer three times...more than any other time ever combined:t3. Good call on my part as out of all those images only two were sharp:



Finally, to put the icing on the cake, the mink came out of the water very close to where I was, and on top of a fallen tree no less...a very tree that I had noticed earlier and that I had though would make a nice perch for a heron. I never thought it would have served as a "perch" for a mink and snack!! It posed there for at least 30 seconds, and even started to play with the dead chipmunk. I thought for sure it was going to consume it right before my eyes, but it took a better grip on it and bolted on foot for good.


After having felt frozen for most of the morning I had now worked up a sweat with a subject that warmed my heart (even if it is a stone cold predator!)

All images:

Canon 7D + 500mm f/4 II + 1.4TC, manual exposure, evaluative metering, 1/200s., f/5.6, ISO 800, natural light, handheld, cropped for comp (except the last image which is FF)

Ákos Lumnitzer
06-03-2015, 07:25 PM
Great images Daniel of a natural event. Pays to be on the ball as you had just proven that perfectly. Love the frames taken in the water, especially the last one of the water shots.
Great work mate!

Rachel Hollander
06-03-2015, 08:04 PM
Hi Daniel - the sequence works a real treat and I love your description of your efforts to capture it.


Gabriela Plesea
06-04-2015, 01:37 PM
You blew me away with this, Daniel!!! Superb capture of this little hunter with prey, and I just cannot decide which frame I like best - love each and one of them:)

You have managed so well to string together this amazing story - this is Reality in Nature, Wildlife at its best. I do experience a sense of loss seeing the unfortunate Chipmunk, at the same time I recognise and respect Unconstrained Nature.

Your frames here a message to the mind as well as the eye, they urge a degree of sympathy towards the victim as well as provoke thought...so a big thank you from me for creating and sharing this Sequence - it certainly moves me, I am sure the other members viewing feel the same:5

Warmest regards,

Diane Miller
06-04-2015, 09:07 PM
What an amazing sight, and a fantastic capture of it, showing off your skills!! It was well worth the exercise!

Marina Scarr
06-05-2015, 10:28 PM
What an amazing experience this must have been and a super sequence. The first image is my favorite and the fur looks so real in that photo.

Tobie Schalkwyk
06-08-2015, 01:18 AM
Lovely sequence nicely captured Daniel! I love the 2nd last shot most of them all!