If you made of list of animals that might potentially raid the bird nests in your yard, your list would more than likely include the names of critters such as various birds, raccoons, cats, squirrels, rat snakes and opossums. I would be surprised if your list included the mink. However, the truth of the matter is the mink can climb trees and raid bird nests.
The mink eats a wide variety of animals including crabs, crayfish, fish, salamanders, frogs, rabbits, voles, mice, rats, muskrats, snakes, ducks, insects, squirrels, and even young turtles.
Being an opportunistic predator, it is easy to believe it also dines on the eggs and hatchlings of ground-nesting birds. However, they will also not pass up a chance to eat the eggs and young found nests placed in trees.
They are able to take advantage of this source of food because they are skilled climbers. Mink can climb high into a tree, scramble from limb to limb, and then retreat down a tree headfirst.
The good news is most homeowners should not worry that a hungry mink will climb a tree in their yards searching for food. This is especially true if you do not live close to the mink’s preferred habitat. However, if your home is located near a creek, river, marsh, beaver swamp, or pond surrounded by thick habitat there is always an outside chance a mink will make a hunting foray into your backyard.