Where can I see one?
Unfortunately, pine martens are notoriously difficult to spot. They are so elusive that they are often studied via footprints, droppings and bits of lost fur rather than by direct sightings.
They are also shy and mostly nocturnal, although they do come out during the day in summer, and while they don’t hibernate in winter, they venture out less.
If you fancy your chances though, try visiting a wildlife hide in Scotland, or a wood known to be home to pine martens, such as Coed Hafod y Llyn in Wales, or Scotland’s Glen Devon Woodlands, Abriachan, or Ledmore and Migdale.
What are baby pine martens called?
Baby pine martens are known as kits. Born in litters of up to five, they start life blind and deaf, with a thin coat of pale hair which darkens as they mature. For the first six weeks they stay safe in their den, but then start to brave the outside world and by the age of 3-4 months have learned to kill their own prey. At six months old, they are fully grown and independent and leave the den for good to establish their own territory. They live for up to ten years.
Although adults mate in July and August, babies are born the following spring. This is due to a process called delayed implantation, which means adults can keep their winter activities to a minimum but babies are born at the best time of year for survival.
Mating season is usually the only time that pine martens make any noise: a shrill cat-like call.