I spend most of my time looking for birds, but there are also some very exciting mammals to be found in the Adirondack forests. I have seen foxes, coyotes, snowshoe hares, bears, and even a moose, but my personal favorites are the two members of the weasel family that can be found in the park. One of them is the American marten. You are very lucky indeed if you can spot one of these elusive creatures. Martens inhabit mature forests and are excellent tree climbers, which is unsurprising considering that their main prey are red squirrels and other small mammals. Martens will come down to the ground occasionally and I have seen them running along downed trees.
Martens are distinguishable by their long, narrow body, and lighter patches of fur on their chest. The other member of the weasel family in the Adirondacks is the fisher, which is considerably larger, and has much darker fur than a marten. Unfortunately, I have not yet come across a fisher, but expect a post when I do!
I was lucky enough to have this marten appear right on the trail at Copperas Pond near Lake Placid.
photos by John Wojcikiewicz