Pine Martens (AKA American Marten, Martes americana) have been creating quite a stir at Silver Star lately. Generally solitary, two Pine Martens were recently observed darting across a cross country trail. Chances are one was chasing the other out of its territory. Although a Mountain Host assured their American guest who saw the incident that it was just two cats in pursuit, the guest wasn’t convinced.
On the same side of the mountain, Grandview residents Walt and Linda Duncan, watched a Pine Marten and caught some great photos. Peggy Kassa absolutely adored seeing one near the top of the mountain just recently, too.
Pine Martens are common weasels on Silver Star, but are rarely seen as they camouflage up in the tall trees. We sometimes follow their tracks on the Snowshoe Safaris. They’re one of four weasels in the resort area, but the biggest and the only one that remains brown through the winter (the others turn white). They’re mostly carnivorous eating squirrels, rodents, birds and insects, but also eat fruit and seeds.
Why have so many been observed recently? It might be that they’re frequenting bird feeders that are popping up all over (I’m not a proponent of feeding wildlife) and I’ve observed them escape down trees when helicopters fly low overhead. Or maybe people are just taking a greater interest in the wildlife around them at Silver Star – I hope.
Have you seen wildlife on Silver Star? I’d love to hear your stories or send photos.
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