Predatory Behavior of Pine Martens
Although the composition of diets of pine marten (Martes americana) is well studied (see Zielinski et al., 1983) direct observations of marten predatory behavior are rare. During a 15-month investigation of marten ecology at Sagehen Creek, California (Spencer et al., 1983; Zielinski et al., 1983), we sometimes observed marten in acts of predation. Observations involved five marked marten and one or more unmarked marten. Observations typically were made through 7- or 8-power binoculars, from 4 to 20 m away, after a radio-collared marten was located with a hand-held receiver. Marten were remarkably tolerant of observers and often ignored their presence, especially when intent on prey. The following accounts illustrate the repertoire of hunting techniques observed.
Wayne D. Spencer, William J. Zielinski, Predatory Behavior of Pine Martens, Journal of Mammalogy, Volume 64, Issue 4, 25 November 1983, Pages 715–717, https://doi.org/10.2307/1380539
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