My friends! I was hoping. I wouldn’t have to write about THIS, but now it seems like a longer story. Which I thought, it’s worth a post!
During winter, my mum said that she hears “something” on the roof of our house – almost every night. And she knows, because her sleep is not very deep; she wakes up often and usually stays awake for a while.
Dad is different: He usually sleeps very soundly. (Almost) nothing wakes him up – lucky bugger!
I might have to mention, that our bedroom lies directly under the roof without an accessible attic.
So, of course one can hear a lot….My mum and I used to look at each other, every time the noises start. And believe me, sometimes it sounds as if an elephant herd races back and forth the roof – chasing each other. Or whatever the heck they are doing!
Well, since we live in the countryside. It’s not unusual of course, to have foxes, mice, squirrels, birds, edible dormice, hedgehogs, martens…..you name it….in the garden and on the roof.
These visitors keep me very busy during daytime (when I’m not asleep). Me snooping around in our garden and try to find out, who visited us during night time. It’s quite thrilling, detecting all these different scents and sometimes even marks. But I’m not sure, I would actually like to meet one of them…I heard, some are bigger than cats and have sharp teeth as well *gulp*
Anyhow, one day my mum claimed that the animals are not only ON the roof, but IN it. She said that she hears them scratching and scraping on wood, not only on roof tiles. My dad laughed and told her, that she was seeing – well, hearing – ghosts and that such a small animal wouldn’t be strong enough, to lift a tile and get into the house.
At least, meanwhile, they’ve both agreed that the intruders must be beech martens (martes foina)! Because sometimes, particularly at twilight, we were able to see a shadow or two hurry past the roof windows! And believe it or not: Some are even that cheeky, they stop and have a look inside!
Also, my humans share the opinion, that martens are super sweet-looking animals (well, not as sweet as me, of course!), although they can destroy cars, by “eating” cables or/and the attic of a house, by damaging isolation – amongst other things.
Anyway, the noises became more and finally – around February – my dad also heard the difference between the scratching noises, outside and inside, but he couldn’t find a displaced tile or a suitable entrance for these animals.
March has arrived and my mum reported, that the noises are different now: Beside the usual scratching, running and playing sounds, there was newly whimpering, squeaking and whining above us…..
By now, my mum read and collected all kind of information about beech martens. She found out, how clever and playful these creatures are (well, THAT we knew by now!), their size (58-84 cm long, very slim) and weight (1.7-2 kg), the colour (brown-greyish with a white throat) and that they are loners.
She also learned that between March and July the females have their offspring (between one and four babies)!
Aha, so there we had the explanation about the new noises!
It also meant that it was too late to scare the martens off. An animal protection brochure says that, while the martens have their pups, it’s not recommended to disturb the mother. She could disappear and leave the babies behind.
They would die of course, which not only would be very sad, but also a problem: Sooner or later “the” smell would start…..
Meanwhile my dad discovered the loose tile and a roofer was ordered to replaced it – making sure the mommy-marten is still able to get under the roof and to her babies.
Yeah well, my mum told my dad, what a funny phone call that was to the roofer company. Explaining the whole situation about the marten family and that, when fixing the roof, the worker had to make sure, the mother still gets to her pups. A definitive solution has to be found after July – after the marten family (hopefully) has moved out.
We also learned that beech martens are not an endangered species and therefore, – sadly – many are being killed, before any possible damage happens.
My mum and dad didn’t have to discuss that topic: No animal would be killed or harmed in our house – despite the costs they would cause! Oh Boy, I just hope the martens appreciate that…..
Nevertheless, it’s almost May and the sounds are different again: It seems like the baby martens became teenagers (still don’t know how many we are accommodating) and are big enough to play their wild chasing games. I guess, they even follow their mother outside, exploring the roof and neighborhood.
My mum told my dad, she wished we could film them, or at least take some pictures! Unfortunately, these fellows are pretty shy, and my dad’s new camera GoPro hasn’t got such a strong battery, which lasts a whole night. Otherwise he could mount it on the roof, which surely would produce excellent pics!
Therefore, and much to my regret, the beech marten pics are from the internet – but no less adorable! Wouldn’t you agree?
Wish you all a peaceful week =^.^=