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Monday, April 23, 2018

Mountain Lions and Bobcats Mark Territory (3/2-3/30/18)

At first glance, it's just a typical spot in the forest with a deep carpet of pine needles and forest debris strewn about. However, if you know about the way that wild cats mark territory, by kicking back with their hind paws to scrape the ground and then urinating in it, the spot rapidly starts to look like a wild cat proving ground.

"Scrapes", two parallel furrows (one for each hind paw), cover the area. Some are big and some are small, depending on whether mountain lions or bobcats made them. Moreover, you might also notice a wide area of disturbed pine needles. If you explore further, you find mountain lion scat under the needles. Believe it or not, our biggest predator covers up its scat. By contrast, feisty little bobcats do not.

Within a day of placing a trail camera at this spot, a mountain lion cruised through.

Next up, a bobcat arrived. He sniffed the area, and he decided to roll around in the mountain lion scent. He spent the first couple of minutes within view of the trail camera. This photo was during a brief break in rolling around.

Then he moved under the camera so that he wasn't in full view anymore. You can barely see his head on the lower edge of the image.

Finally, he stood up and shook off the pine needles before departing.

Believe it or not, a mountain lion was back to mark territory again within a few days.
In the video of the mountain lion visit on  3/7/18, be sure to listen carefully for the panting and hind paw scraping by the cat. When he's scraping, pine needles are flying in the air and appearing in front of the camera.

The video finishes with two visits to an old elk carcass by a lion. That carcass is very close to the marking area where the previous clips were recorded.

I love our wild cats. I love the sheer power of the mountain lion, and I love the feistiness of the small bobccat!!!

You can watch a video of the mountain lion and bobcat marking these territories either here or at Youtube.


  1. how beautiful they are in their natural habitat... we saw a little zoo in germany and our hearts ached as we saw this wonderful animals behind bars... ;o(((

  2. We love your wild cats too....ahhhh yes we are just a wee bit prejudiced though! After all these years mom still is amazed at just how similar domestic and wild cats are in their habits...BUT she is very glad she doesn't have to clean up the 'recycled' food of the wild cats.
    Hugs and thank you as always for sharing these beautiful majestic creatures with us.
    Madi a domesticated mountain lion

  3. I always love seeing your wild cats. Thanks for sharing them with all of us.

  4. I love that the bobcat rolls just like a domestic kitty would do. Thank you for sharing!

  5. they are equally beautiful just in different ways. the head of the lion just melts my heart

  6. Those kitties are so beautiful. How wonderful to be able to capture them on film.

  7. As long as I don't ever meet one in the woods (we only have the bobcats here, which I've seen from my car)...I only want to admire them on camera!! It's so interesting that the big ones bury their scat like a housecat.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  8. Both of those cats are so beautiful and look very healthy. Thanks for the video - love seeing the cats in action.

  9. OMD, they are so BEAUTIFULS!!! We have both here too (we had one just walking down the street last week on the other side of town! no worries, the peeps are smart around there, and know what to do if they see one) They are so powerful and amazing! The Bobcats are more elusive though...haven't had a sighting in awhile. I just loves the videos!
    Ruby ♥

  10. OH THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL. And I love that all the ones you re getting do not have the old collars on them. Bert and I just got back from one of his bucket list trips. I'll email you later tonight,but had to tell you how much I loved seeing this video when I got back.

  11. Just love watching the big cats!
    Hazel & Mabel

  12. They are so beautiful!

  13. It's so great to be able to share your wildilfe via your camera. Thanks for sharing.


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