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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bobcat Family

You may remember that I followed a mother and her two bobcat kittens last summer. You can see the posts here, here, here, and here.

Usually, I see mother bobcats with their kittens for the last time sometime around February. It turned out that the mother bobcat and her two kittens were in front of my trail camera in late January!

Mom arrived.

She sniffed a bone that has laid in front of this camera for ages and always attracts the attention of bobcats. As she sniffed, one kitten arrived.

Mom and her kitten sniffed together. If you look to the left of them, you can see the other kitten approaching from the snowy background.

As soon as the other kitten arrived, mom walked away. You can see her on an animal path in the background.

The first kitten quickly followed while the lagging kitten lay down in front of the camera.

The lagging kitten rolled around and showed us his white spotted chest and belly. It's moments like this one that only trail cameras can capture. Most of us would never see such a sight with our own eyes.
After this fun photo, the kitten sprinted after his family, and I'm sure he caught up. By now, these kittens are at least 7 months old, and they will soon strike out on their own. For now, they travel "loosely" with their mother, meaning that they are usually in the same area as her but not necessarily right next to her.

In fact, in the days after the family visit, that same trail camera repeated photographed single bobcats, likely members of this family, who passed it by themselves. This is part of the pattern of the kittens gradually becoming more independent.

Getting trail camera photos of our wildlife really helps me through February which always feels like the longest month even though it's actually the shortest! I wish that we would get photos of the mother mountain lion and her two kittens who we followed last summer (posts are here and here). I suspect that they made a "big move" for the winter to an entirely different area. If they were still near here, I would probably know it. However, I do have a "snowed in" trail camera that I probably won't check until the big spring melt. Then, we'll know for sure if they've been in this area for the winter or not.

In the meantime, I'll dream of the next time I can pick up memory cards from our "den cams" that are monitoring the black bear in her den. I am so curious to find out there are noisy new cubs in the den with her. They would've been born in the second half of January!

To keep February happy, I'll keep playing with the ever-joyful Shyla!
If only I had Shyla's athletic capabilities, I'd be able to frolic in the snow in February, and then I'm sure it would seem too short to me!!

I hope that all of you are enjoying your Saturdays.


  1. So nice to catch up with your wild animal friends.

  2. We loved seeing that spotted kitten tummy, such fantastic sights!

  3. Shyla could start her own snow plow business.

  4. Love the bobcats. All of them look so well nourished and healthy. We see them occasionally around here but they seem smaller and thinner than yours. And yes, wouldn't we all love to have the enthusiastic activity of a young Lab?

  5. I'm so glad the baby bobcats made it!

  6. How exciting!! I think the trail cameras are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get! :-)!!! Sorry, bad joke, but I do think it's really cool, and I always enjoy the glimpses of the beautiful animals that you share your life with.

    And if I had Shyla's athletic capabilities, I'd be trying out for the olympics! :-)!!

  7. we just love seeing the cats!
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  8. Snow and a bobcat tale, perfect for our scorching hot Sunday.

  9. Love the spotted kitty tummy and what a great action shot of you, Shyla!

  10. they are beautiful... I love this big paws and the fluffy fur... and I hope they have always a good life and a home in your mountains :o)

  11. What a special treat on what is, for us, a gray and cold February day. Just beautiful to see these animals thriving. Thanks for sharing the smiles today.

  12. Love these! And you are so right, only trail cams can catch photos that are so candid of wildlife.

  13. Those are great photos to capture and even better cuz you know the family! We know about February being long. Mom says it is 6 months long!

    Keep Calm & Bark On!

    Murphy & Stanley

  14. So cool to see them. I find November and February the hardest. I look forward to them being over!

  15. What a great find with your trail camera. I hope all your animal friends make the long winter a little more tolerable.

    When I'm indoors at the dock with the heater on in the boat cabin, I can't think of anything more miserable than steering the boat in the wind and the cold (we're expecting temps under 20 F in South Carolina at the end of this week).

    But then I smell the ocean coming through the inlets, spot the pelicans following the fishing boats, and see Honey sniffing the air and the cold isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. And fortunately, there's a lot more sun here in the Outer Banks than I ever experienced this time of year in upstate NY. :)

  16. Just lovely. The bobcat kitty is sooo cute and just like a domestic cat, I agree that Feb seems like the longest month - July-August, being winter here, feel the longest to me! - and I think Shyla starting her own snow plow business is a great idea :)


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