Posted 22nd Jun 2018
After the news that the pine marten has enjoyed something of a population rise, we take a look at the creature that is predominantly confined to the north of the UK
The nocturnal mammal is hard to spot but you may just be able to entice it to a peanut-laden bird table.
The elusive Mustelid is mainly found in Scotland, where it prefers woodland habitats. A skilled climber, it will settle in tree holes, old squirrel dreys or birds' nests.
Feeding on small rodents, birds, eggs, insects and fruit, it can even be encouraged to pay a visit to bird tables which are laden with peanuts and raisins.
During the summer mating season, it will make a shrill, cat-like call, and the following spring, the female will have a litter of between one to five kits, which are independent by autumn.
Chestnut-brown in colour, the pine marten has a characteristic pale yellow 'bib' on its chin and throat, accompanying a long bushy tail.
The pine marten's summer diet will mainly entail Bilberries, Rowan berries and Blackberries, which often turns its 'scats' a blue or red in colour. They regularly leave their scats along forest trails or adorn prominent places like boulders with them to mark their territories. When they are fresh, they have a slimy appearance which is due to their mucous which binds them together. This could contain fur, feathers, bones or seed.
Text and information courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts / image courtesy of Mark Hamblin 2020VISION