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Saturday, August 27, 2011

A bobcat mother and kitten

We have a bobcat with a kitten in our neck of the woods. I had my first clues that a kitten might be nearby more than a month ago. A bobcat seemed to be working a small area relentlessly and carrying prey toward one spot on a regular basis.

I've never seen so much bobcat activity in a relatively small area. This post chronicles all of the hunting activity of the mother over the past month or so, and then it shows photos of the mother and her kitten. If you want to skip to the cute part, go toward the end where the kitten photos are!

The mother bobcat hunted on a hillside.
Soon thereafter, my camera caught the mother  carrying a squirrel along a nearby animal trail.
The very next day, she carried a rabbit along the same trail in the same direction.
A few days later, she moved with purpose along that animal trail in the opposite direction of the previous photos.
Less than ten minutes later, she returned carrying lunch toward her den. I don't know exactly where her kitten was hidden but I was getting a good idea of the general area.
She was still in the area more than a week later again looking very determined.
She passed the same camera in the opposite direction, with empty jaws the next day.
I think that she moved the kitten between 8/3 and 8/11. About a mile to the east, she carried prey away from where I thought that she'd previously had the kitten stashed.
On the same day, more than a mile further east, she still walked carrying prey. I'm guessing that she had hunted a long way from the kitten's den that day.
Another four days later, the bobcat mother carried a rabbit, very recently killed (based on the eye glow of the rabbit).

She hunted at all hours of day and night. Here, she searched for prey on a hillside.

Then, the BIG day. I spotted her kitten on camera. The kitten is crouched in the brush to the left of his mother in the photo.
Here's a closeup. See the distinctive black and white ears on the kitten?
Mom accelerated past the kitten who stayed crouched.
A closeup shows the kitten better...
Finally, today, I found a great kitten photo on one of my cameras in that area. The kitten looks very young and cute! The mother bobcat is almost out of the picture in the lower left of the photo.
I hope that we can keep following this mother and kitten as the kitten grows up!

19 comments:

Samantha said...

WOW!!! What great captures!

desertsandbeyond said...

Awww...how cute. I've seen bobcats twice now up in our local mountains. Great photos! Yes, I see the baby!

Louise said...

That baby is adorable. And, it looks like Mom is a very good Mother, and a mighty hunter.

♥I am Holly♥ said...

What wonderful pictures!! A baby!!! I love your trail camera so much!! Lots of love, Debbie & Holly

houndstooth said...

Awww! He really is a cutie! I wonder how early bobcat kittens start eating meat, and how soon they start hunting. That mama is sure working like crazy to take care of the little cutie!

AC said...

Been thinking of you and K. Hope K is still doing well and you're able to enjoy the last of Summer together.

Your time around Leadville looked glorious. The athlete in me knows the ache to be "out there." While my year with my bum knee doesn't compare to the gauntlet you deal with, I know the longing, the need, the frustration.

And onto today!! Too cool!!! I can't wait to see that little guy grow up. Sure hope you keep capturing the pair!

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

How fun to be a bobcat kitty detective:) We hope you can capture more photos for all of us to enjoy.

Tammie Lee said...

such a wonderful series of photographs, thank you for sharing your insights and thoughts on what is occurring! Yes that kitten is cute!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

The mama bob cat is big. We have one too but does not look as big as yours.
She is a good hunter.. and responsible mom!
love
tweedles

Stella said...

I love what a serious hard working Mom Ms Bobcat is. One cute baby too. When she leaves him in the den, she is bringing him food, when he accompanies her, its training time!

Kisses,
Stella

rottrover said...

Oh MAN!! Great stuff! They are beauties. Love the legs and ears :)

bushcraftercz said...

Cool pics man, aren´t you afraid that someone´s gonna steal the cam? The trail seems well used...

Anonymous said...

Great little series of photos. I love the kitten and his big paws at the end..cute!!

Nice stuff!!

Marilyn

Benny and Lily said...

very cool. We never saw a bobcat kitten
Benny & Lily

Janice in GA said...

I love your wildlife pictures. Thank you for sharing them!

Joe said...

Great catch. Hope you get more.

Kristin G. said...

How cool is that!?! I hope that kitten stays safe out there!

Snowcatcher said...

Wow! You've discovered GOLD! And it has black and white tipped ears!!!

Anna the GSD said...

That is so cool! What a great mom that big Bob Kitty is to her little one! Lots of noms = good mom!