(Mephitis mephitis)

“Violet” (Hey, mammals are part of birds’ natural world, so why not?!)
Distribution: Striped skunks are commonly found throughout North America as well as parts of Canada and northern Mexico.
Distribution: Striped skunks are commonly found throughout North America as well as parts of Canada and northern Mexico.

Size: Striped skunks are approximately the size of a typical domestic cat and weigh anywhere between 2.5 and 11.5 lbs. Males are noticeably larger than the females, although the females have longer tails.

Diet: The majority of skunks’ diets are made up of insects. They will, however, consume a variety of organisms including small mammals, small birds, vegetation, and sometimes carrion.

Lifespan: Skunks found in the wild have been known to live up to 3 years, although, many do not make it through their first winter. In captivity, a striped skunk may live up to 15 years.

Reproduction: The mating season for striped skunks usually occurs in late winter/early spring. The gestation period lasts 60-77 days resulting in 5-6 skunk kittens. The young are completely helpless, nursing for about a month in the den as they mature. They reach adult size at a year.

Did You Know?

  • The striped skunk is the most common skunk found in North America, and can oftentimes be found sharing a habitat with humans because the numerous buildings in suburban cities offer them shelter.
  • Skunks have the ability to “spray” as early as 8 days old, a little over a week before their eyes are even open!