Cosy as they come: Pine martens cuddle up in a woodpecker's nest

By Jessica Satherley

A photographer got a surprise when he spotted these newborn pine martens peeking out of a woodpecker's nest.

The cute creatures and their family had set up home in the tree trunk after finding it empty.

And they appeared to enjoy the view from their lofty nest - occasionally popping their heads out to take a look at the big wide world.

New home: These adorable pine martens were enjoying the view from their new home - a converted a woodpecker's nest in the Netherlands

The adorable sight was photographed in Drents Friese Wold nature reserve in the Netherlands.

Photographer Hillebrand Breuker said it was the first time he caught the rarely seen young pine martens on camera.

The 43-year-old, from Friesland, in the Netherlands, said: 'Pine martens are very shy animals. In the past they were chased by hunters quite a lot.

'Nowadays there are about 500 of then left in the Netherlands. They are an endangered animal.

'This was the first time I'd seen a young pine marten. I've seen a few adults but they are so swift and agile you only see them in a flash of a moment.

'These young ones were very curious and constantly observing the outside world in between sleeping.

Close relatives: Pine marten's belong to the mustelid family, which also includes the mink, otter, badger, wolverine and weasel

'I watched them for about half an hour but I could have stayed longer.

'It is such an amazing sight to watch these very adorable and distinct animals.

'I am very lucky to be able to watch them - not a lot of people will be able to have the same experience.

'Everybody who sees these pictures loves them. They think these young pine martens are very cute.'

Pine marten’s belong to the mustelid family, which also includes the mink, otter, badger, wolverine and weasel.

They usually make their dens in hollow trees and are found throughout wooded areas in Europe.



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