Predator and Prey: A Rare Sighting of an American Pine Marten

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Pine Marten

While hiking in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness below a large talus slope, I saw a golden-mantled ground squirrel at full alert staring intently above me in the rocks. Following its gaze, I saw a pine marten moving quickly from spot to spot. Squirrels are a common item in a pine marten’s diet.

I’ve only seen a handful of pine martens in my years of hiking. They tend to be very secretive and nocturnal by nature. And, like all members of the weasel family, they are accomplished hunters well beyond their three pounds of weight.

The pine marten’s cream-colored bib is very distinctive. What a joy to see something so rare.

Pine Marten

Golden Mantled

Pine Marten


Categories: Washington Cascades Hikes, WildlifeTags:


  1. For a second I thought that pine Parton looks a lot like a chipmunk from a profile. Very nice.

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