VIDEO: Predator attacking starling chicks

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Mon, 20.05.2019 - 19:39

Video recorded by  Aita, LK forum
Estonian text posted 20.05.2019




Starling     Kuldnokk         Sturnus vulgaris


When it rains, it pours …

Half an hour before noon a hairy paw reached for the starling chicks. Since it is a rather secluded spot the ”robber” could well be a pine marten.

The starling adults were courageous in defending their chicks but against the mammal their power and self-sacrificing attacks were sadly not enough …


Pine marten         Metsnugis            Martes martes


The pine marten is comparable to a cat in size, average weight is just over a kilo, with the females being a little lighter than the males. It is slightly larger and has longer legs than the other mustelids. As we see from the video the strong paw reaching for the starling chicks seems to belong to a wild animal but a stray cat can of course not be excluded.

The pine marten is a notable predator: in the forests it searches for the offspring of mountain hares, harries squirrels in their nests. disturbs the springtime leks of the big wild hen species, loots bird’s nests, scratches open bumblebee nests. Among rodents it mainly hunts for bank voles and it does not abstain from carrion. It gets its vitamins from plant food which is a quite large part of the pine marten’s  menu.

The heat period of pine martens starts in June which makes the otherwise quiet creatures quite vocal.

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