I arrived at my trail camera the other day to find a fascinating series of photos. First, I saw that the mother bobcat who we've seen on numerous occasions in photos walked along the path and then took an abrupt turn up a steep embankment.
The next photo was about 45 minutes later, when the kitten came down the slope from the direction where his mother had first disappeared. He seemed to be alone. However, remember that his mother might have been just outside the view of the camera, moving in parallel with the kitten. That's the frustrating part of interpreting trail camera photos - you have no idea what's going on just outside the view of the camera.
I wonder if this mother bobcat is the one who we saw photos of back in mid-March, traveling with another adult bobcat, likely a mate. If that's true, then the kitten was probably born in late May and is close to 4 months old now. I've read that bobcat kittens start traveling with their mothers on some hunts when they are about 3 months old. That timing fits with approximately when I captured my first bobcat kitten photos. Usually, a bobcat kitten stays close by his mother's side for 6 months or so. Then, according to biologists, the kitten starts hunting more independently within the mother's territory for several months - getting some help from the mother bobcat if they have a bad hunting phase. Finally, sometime before the kitten is a year old, he disperses from his mother's territory to find his own stomping grounds.
All of that means that we should be seeing this kitten traveling closely with his mother again. It's not time for him to become independent yet.
I've compiled all the photos from the past couple of days into a flipbook video which you can view here or at Youtube.
In the meantime, the stormy weather continues but K and I went for a mountain bike ride anyway. My happy girl led the way into the clouds.