Yellowstone Reports

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Christmas Martens

A King and Two Princesses
by Dan Hartman

Jan. 1, 2017

     We've had a large male marten hanging around our cabin for a few weeks, but three night ago we looked out to see two juvenile females.
     The next morning, they were back.  Never together, but taking turns scurrying about our front yard.  Luckily they had distinct markings on their chests that makes it easy to tell them apart.  Towards evening I watched as one climbed up one of our snags and squirmed into a cavity.  The next morning as I walked past the snag, out popped a marten head!  She had spent the night right there!  The next night in she went again and once more emerged yawning the following morning.
     Today the big male marten was back.  Would the females hang around?  Well, after an hour or so the male left.  Within minutes, one of the little females appeared.
    Christmas Eve had martens climbing through our trees almost continually.  As soon as one disappeared another took over.
     Then on Christmas Day I went out to fill the bird feeder, when out of the cavity popped a martens head.  It looked at me, yawned and slipped back inside fo a little more slumber.  Soon after, the other female appeared in a larger snag chewing on sunflower seeds as the falling snow turned her coat white.
     After dinner, we continued our tradition of hanging the turkey carcass out for the birds.  But on this day it was the martens who celebrated.  All afternoon the martens worked at the skeleton, than as night fell, four foxes appeared and ripped down what was left.

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View slide show

Big Male

She Came Out Yawning

The Snow Turned Her Coat White


Christmas Turkey