Skunks are mostly nocturnal, and forage at night for a variety of foods. The are omnivores, eating both plant and animal matter, but really seem to prefer insects. They sleep during the day, usually in underground dens often dug by other animals.They do not fully hibernate, but activity is very low during the winter. The often communicate via scent marking, and males will often discharge during mating season.
Skunks are well-known for their defensive tactic – when threatened, they will arch their back, lift the tail, and discharge a highly odiferous liquid from special glands near the anus. This sulphurous compound is not only offensive to the nose, but it can cause temporary blindness in an attacker. Many animals avoid skunks due to this defensive tactic, and it’s actually often birds like hawks and owls that prey on skunks, since these birds lack a sense of smell.