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!
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.
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!
I hope that all of you are enjoying your Saturdays.