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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Caturday: The Father Mountain Lion in Daylight

The big beautiful male mountain lion who I believe is the father of the nearby kittens has prowled our area recently.

Mountain lions tend to sleep all day. Then, they wake up just before it gets dark to get to work either hunting or eating a cached kill. This guy came through around sunset so he was probably just waking up from his daytime sleep. When he arrived in front of my cam, he started by sniffing the scrape left by a previous mountain lion visitor.

When he raised his head, I saw his whitish chest, which is not common around here. The male who mated with a female lion nearby had a similar white chest. I suspect that this cat is the father of the mountain lion kittens who we saw not too long ago. Males play no role in raising kittens, and they will even kill the mother or kittens if given the chance. Surprising but true.

He became more interested in the scents, and he showed the Flehman response, opening his mouth so that he could redirect some of the scent molecules to his vomeronasal organ. It essentially lets him "taste" the scent.

After sniffing around at that site, he made a beeline for the next area where mountain lions mark. He sniffed and decided not to mark there. He breathed so loudly as he passed the cam that it is audible on the video!

About a week later, a big Tom cat visited the same area again. I am guessing that it was the same cat but it's hard to be sure. I loved the bright sunlight on his fur.
His belly was very full, suggesting that he'd been eating all night long. He was probably heading to his day bed to sleep the day away.

I made a short video of this male mountain lion in daylight. What a treat it is to see his fur in full light!!!! (As an aside, I'm leaving my cams on Daylight Savings Time all year... so don't be confused when they seem to say that it was still light here at 6 PM!)


  1. What a handsome boy he is but eating your wife and kids?? hummmmmmmm

    1. Nope, he has plenty of deer and elk to eat. We do have to be very careful with our pets. None should be outside alone.

  2. No Way!! I Absolutely Love These Photos!! Photo #3 Makes Me Giggle Deep Inside My Bones. These Are Great!! Thanx So Much For Sharing. Well Done


  3. his facial markings are so beautiful and he is sooooo handsome. love the sound of his breathing and the way he keeps looking off camera... beautiful big boy is what he is.

  4. What a gorgeous big cat! I could sit here all day and watch the video.

  5. Big Tom is quite handsome!! I can see all the ladies swooning over him.
    Oh dear me the first 6 months of Angel Madi's life she had her days and nights confused.
    Finally she got into the human routine. LOL
    Hugs Cecilia

  6. What a great video!!! And we love that you give us so much information before we watch it. It is interesting about that Flehman response. The dogs here stick their snooters way up in the air when they get the scent of something. Thanks for sharing.

  7. They are such amazing and majestic looking critters!

  8. Wildlife and their habits are so fascinating!!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  9. Wow - thanks for sharing your photos and video. I'm not sure what my two dogs would do if they ever saw a cat that size!

  10. It's always so interesting to see these pictures and videos you get.

  11. Oh, you knows Ma loves the Mountain Lions! We here knows to show lots of respect for them and their space. Butts it's just hard not to gaze in awe!
    Ruby ♥

  12. What an amazing animal and such fantastic photos :) Milo, Jet & Arli

  13. Amazing! He is so big and beautiful. Love seeing this.

  14. Thank you, such a joy to see.
    And your dog photos in other posts are fab. you are so good at capturing them, even when they are running!


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