Although the American badger (Taxidea taxus) is common in grasslands and preys on a wide diversity of foods including birds, little is known about badger diet in areas where nesting ducks are common. Small mammals, primarily Muridae and Geomyidae, were the most common food items in the diet of badgers collected from west-central Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota during April-July 1987 through 1990, based on analysis of gastrointestinal tracts of 47 adult ( 1/4 -y-old) and 5 juvenile (<6-mo-old) badgers. Remains of mammals occurred in 98% of samples from adult badgers. Small quantities of insects were found in 40% of adult samples. Bird remains were in 32% of adult samples, most birds identified as Anatidae; ducks or ducklings occurred in 27% and duck eggs in 60% of those samples. Remains of reptiles, amphibians and mollusks were present, but were less common than other foods. Insects and bird eggs were more common during spring (April-May) than summer (June-July). Birds were more frequent in diets of adults than juvenile badgers.
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Foods of American badgers in west-central Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota during the duck nesting season