Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.
All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.
You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
A Winter Bobcat Pair
I just returned from a sunset hike with the Duo, made possible by our longer days!
The light is changing so fast, and I am cheering it on!
But I guess the later sunset is keeping R up past his bedtime!
We hurried home after sunset so I could finish this post. The first part was about an innocent trail camera attached to a huge old aspen tree. It has been pointed at a bear marking tree for a couple of years. The bear marking tree is the small pine tree in the center of the photo, just above the bobcat's head. Many other species, like this bobcat, also pass this spot and often sniff the tree.
In the next photo, you see the entire world starting to tip as the old tree toppled in high winds.
Then, I got approximately 3700 photos of the forest canopy, some at night and some during the day. Lucky for me, the tree didn't fall onto the camera, and the snow cushioned the camera's impact. So, it still works!
Around the same time as that tree toppled, a nearby trail camera was capturing bobcat activity. Very early in the morning of 1/16, a bobcat sniffed the area in front of the camera and then paused to look at it before departing.
A few hours later, another bobcat (maybe the same one) showed up to sniff that spot.
This one was also mesmerized by the many markings this spot has received from mountain lions and bobcats.
But, this bobcat was also concerned about something behind him/her. The bobcat kept turning and staring up the gully.
This next photo looks very "kittenish" to me, so I started to wonder if this bobcat was waiting for his/her mom.
The bobcat shook, making a funny photo!
And then another bobcat arrived. There are definitely two bobcats in the next photo but I don't which one is which.
The pair reconvened at that interesting spot.
They rolled around together.
It looked as if they were leaving their scent marks by rubbing their faces on a rock that was jutting out of the snow. At the same time, they appeared to play with each other.
At times, they looked like one big ball of fur. I could barely distinguish two separate bobcats.
Then, one of them briefly focused on the trail camera, before the two strutted off into the forest together.
I am assuming that this is a mother-kitten pair. But, it is conceivable that it's a mating pair. Bobcats are said to mate in "late winter", giving birth to kittens 50-70 days later in early spring. For us, 50-70 days from now would be very early spring, with our biggest snow storms likely to occur after the birth of kittens. For that reason, I tend to think this is a mother-kitten pair. Kittens stay with their mothers for the first 8-11 months of their lives.
In any case, the Duo and I wish this pair of bobcats good luck for the rest of the winter!