Pine Marten eggs
The Pine Marten is an opportunist and has a varied diet. They are highly adaptable mammals taking advantage of seasonal changes and opportunities. Spring to early summer provides one such seasonal bonus in the form of eggs laid by ground or tree nesting birds.
The photographs here show some of the behaviour witnessed when watching Pine Martens tackling eggs.
How big an egg can a Pine Marten handle?
Where access to nests is available the Pine Marten is very skilled when it comes to handling eggs, but what eggs will they take?
In a secluded location where there is no immediate danger the Pine Marten will happily open and devour any egg which it can break into. There is good evidence to support their ability to break into surprisingly large eggs, much larger than they could carry.Over exposed open ground or where there may be danger Pine Martens appear to have a preference for transporting eggs to a quiet location where they can open and eat the contents at leisure. Generally they can take any egg which it can fit into its mouth.
The two pictures above illustrate how a smaller Pine Marten tackles the problem of transporting an egg which is just a little too big to fit the mouth. In this case the young Martins push the eggs from the middle of the clearing to a secluded spot under some bushes.