I was recently photographing wildlife at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma when I had the amazing opportunity to observe and photograph a Striped Skunk hunting and feeding. As I slowly drove down the auto tour road, I spotted a Striped Skunk off to the side in the grass. I quietly parked my truck and cautiously approached, camera in hand, hoping to get some photos.
The Skunk was fully focused on stalking something in the grass. Suddenly it pounced and caught a large grasshopper! I silently watched as the Skunk crushed the wriggling insect in its jaws before voraciously devouring its prey. I excitedly snapped some photos, capturing the Skunk’s successful hunt. After its brief insect snack, the Skunk wandered off into the brush. I left the area thrilled to have observed and photographed such fascinating natural behavior in the wild.
Striped Skunks are omnivores and eat a varied diet including insects like grasshoppers as well as small mammals, eggs, plants, and carrion. Their distinctive black and white markings are a warning to potential predators that Skunks can spray a powerfully smelly musk in defense. While many may be familiar with this stinky defense mechanism, fewer people know about the Skunk’s diverse diet and hunting behaviors.
I feel fortunate to have witnessed this Striped Skunk exhibiting natural hunting behavior in its prairie habitat. Capturing great wildlife photos involves patience, luck, and respect for the animals. I’m grateful for moments like this that allow me to observe and photograph wildlife up close while also appreciating the remarkable diversity of life in the natural world. Witnessing a Skunk’s hunt for common grasshoppers was a vivid reminder that nature is full of countless small yet fascinating interactions taking place all around us.
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: RF100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
- Date and Time Taken: August 18, 2022 (09:00 A. M.)
- Program Mode: Manual
- Aperture: f8.0
- Shutter speed: 1/800
- ISO: 2500 (Auto)
- Exposure Compensation: +1/3 EV
- Focal Length: 500 mm