Winter Warmth Ends the Slumber of Skunks

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Love is in the air. Eastern striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) are wandering in search of mates all across Michigan’s lower peninsula. During frigid months, skunks had hunkered down in their winter dens for periods of days, or sometimes weeks, and rarely ventured topside. All that is changing now as spring draws near and weather patterns become more unstable. Skunk sightings are on the uptick in Oakland County and without a doubt, their more-or-less dormant mid-winter slumber has ended. Continue reading

Scent of Love Spices the Air: Romancing the Skunk

The Wilder Side of Oakland County

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A skunk captured under a deck in a live trap presents a removal challenge for the homeowner.

Courtship is well underway for Mephitis mephitis, the often maligned striped skunk, and that means the scent of love is in the night air. Romance for the skunk is a simple affair: wander about under the cover of darkness and search for a suitable mate. Yet, during these nocturnal searches, as winter slowly wanes, skunks may encounter other critters of the night: raccoons, coyotes, fox, cats and dogs. If these creatures do not give the hormonal-driven skunk, with a mission of mating on its mind, a wide berth, the skunk will swing into defensive mode. First comes a warning: the front paws pound up and down. Perhaps that message serves to say, “Do you remember me from last time?”

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