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Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Mountain Lion Visit

We live at high elevation in the mountains. I stop and gaze at the mountains almost every day, in disbelief that we get to live here. We are lucky.

At this time of year, however, I do wish that spring would come to our neck of the woods. I'm tired of the snow and the cold.

Recently, a few sure-fire signs have emerged. I heard the trill of a hummingbird's wings, not once, but twice yesterday! I quickly cleaned a hummingbird feeder and put it out. It's not easy for the forerunners of the hummers to find enough food at this time of year. We have very few blooming flowers so the human residents love helping them. I haven't seen any at our feeder yet but I hope that I will soon!

Another sure sign is that the mountain lions start passing through our area again, in their never-ending search for prey. The elk herd likes our elevation at this time of year, and I suspect that their presence is why the lions return.

This is a trail camera that I go near on my snow bike almost every day. A lion passed it at night recently. The bright light in distance is the moon!

He never slowed down by the camera. You'll notice that he doesn't have a collar on. The decade-long study that collared many of our mountain lions has finally ended. I haven't captured photos of a mountain lion with a collar on since last fall. I hope that I never do again!

You might remember that we had a mother mountain lion with two young kittens in our neck of the woods for all of last summer. The mother was collared.

I believe that she moved her kittens to another area around the end of October of last year. I'm hoping that they return again this spring. The kittens will be almost as big as mom by then. I am a tad worried because I thought that mom looked a bit skinny by the end of last fall. Let's hope that we see her again, sans collar and ear tags!

Just recently, we had another mountain lion come through our neck of the woods. He passed in front of one of my oldest trail cams that takes video. He stayed in front of the cam for about 1.5 minutes, rubbing his face on an old elk bone that was lying there. I thought that you might enjoy seeing the video here or at Youtube.

I'm sorry that the video isn't the greatest quality but I hope you enjoyed seeing a cougar doing his "usual stuff" in the dead of night when he thought that no one was watching!

Happy Sunday!


  1. Sooo cool! Thank you for sharing! What's the blinking light in the vid?

  2. Is that lightning in the video? Very nice to see. We are hoping to hear some bear cub news:) We can't wait to see how they are doing.

  3. Absolutely amazing! When you say they return to your area, where are they in winter? Hope the mother and cubs are back this summer

  4. One day last week a mountain lion was in someone's suburban backyard very close to us. fish and Game came out, darted him, collared him and took him out to more suitable "puma habitat."

  5. Love seeing the cats - we too are wondering about the bear and cubs?
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  6. So wonderful seeing the lions back out and about! Thanks sooooo much for sharing!!

  7. Was he marking the bone with his neck glands? What magnificent animals. hope the mother is well and the little ones return this year, wiser,older, and bigger.

  8. I loved the video. He's rolls on his back just like a smaller domestic kitty.

  9. Love those guys. So majestic and beautiful.

  10. Hannah - The blinking light is another camera that was taking still photos. It's an infrared light - invisible to the animals - but visible to the infrared camera that was taking video.

    And, to all who asked about the bear family, I haven't checked the cams outside their den since early March. Starting around March, the family might choose to lie in the sun outside the den on warm days. If were to arrive to check the cams then, I could cause mayhem (mom fleeing and the cubs not able to keep up or to climb trees yet). Consequently, I'm waiting until I am very sure that the family has departed before I check those cams again. We'll get a lot of footage all at once when I finally check them! It's bee so hard to be so patient!

  11. Yikes! Up close and personal
    Lily & Edward

  12. he is just gorgeous.. and i don't like that collar at all.. i hope she is ok.. i liked the info and the still photos, loved the video

  13. That is so cool to get a glimpse of the cougar night life. Thanks as always for sharing it with us.

  14. Lots of activity on the mountain! We love those trail cams! Hope things are going well for R!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  15. I love seeing big cats doing the same kinds of things my cat does! It's so fun to see them rolling and rubbing on things. Thanks for sharing!

  16. We hope the mountain lions can live without the collars too, And we hope you get to see some new footage on your cameras.


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