Backyard Visitors

March 17th, 2015 10 Comments

Bobcat 003 (Small)

Bobcats are fairly regular visitors to our backyard, but we recently had two different individuals, about a week apart, very close, who were gracious enough to allow me to take some photographs of them. The fence is an old sheepherder’s fence, but you can see the top of a white T-post in the foreground that marks my property.

Bobcat 008 (Small)

This pretty grey is a female.

 

Bobcat 012 (Small)

This sandy-colored boy (yes, most definitely a male) was so close to the house that in my delight at getting a photograph, I forgot to zoom in. You can see the top of my chain-link dog fence in the foreground.

Bobcat 018 (Small)

I was tempted to ask for an autograph, but he didn’t seem to be in the mood.

Bobcat 023 (Small)

Since I have rabbits and ground squirrels galore on the hill behind the house, I don’t like to discourage the bobcats. They are capable, very capable, of killing a corgi (I was once called in by the local police department to identify the killer of cattle dog-cross about fifty percent bigger than a corgi, and the killer was most definitively a bobcat), but we never leave our dogs outside unattended, so I prefer to give the cats a chance to hunt. It does both of us a lot of good, though I suspect the rabbits and the ground squirrels may feel somewhat differently about the arrangement.

Bobcat 026 (Small)

I invited him to stay and try his luck, but he didn’t seem to have a terribly high opinion of me, Darleen, or the human race in general. I’m not sure I blame him.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful creatures

  2. Anonymous says:

    In the first two photos the bobcat is hard to see.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hello JP,

    I’m almost inclined to ask what you’ve been doing there in your garden….
    but I prefer not to ask… 😉
    But I must admit that I’ve been to your side illicitly this morning in the office.
    I somehow had to go there although I didn’t expect anything new. I enjoyed the fotos so much. Particularly because it was shortly before a rather thorny meeting… These beautiful fotos lightened up my mood and the meeting wasn’t that bad, either 🙂 .
    I’m going to read the following post on friday… it’s been a hard day today.
    Thank you very much!

    Best wishes

    NW

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nice pictures! I can only recall seeing a bobcat out in the wilds twice in my 41 years. That’s just awesome…

    TD Bauer
    Wisconsin

  5. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful pictures – thank you for posting!
    Jaimee

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mais c’est dangereux d’habiter en Californie !!!! Des ours, des lynx !!!!!! J’ai déjà peur d’une araignée. Lorsque j’en vois une, j’hurle et j’ai les cheveux qui se hérissent (alors que chez nous elles sont petites) Je ne pourrais jamais me promener dans vos montagnes sans avoir peur de me faire dévorer par une de ces bêtes !!!!! C’est décidé, je reste en France, même si nous avons d’autres prédateurs 
    Anita 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Away from computers, distracted elsewhere–gettin’ in on this a bit late, but felt COMPELLED to respond to a post right up my alley! GREAT PHOTOS, first of all–people rarely see bobcats despite their often commonness in some areas(or one of the old-time names for them–“bay lynx”–they ARE a species of lynx, after all!), much less get photos of them! And thanks for sharing! I’ve lived in places where there have always been bobcats around, and though my sightings and encounters with them haven’t been super numerous(due to this feline’s elusiveness), I’ve still had quite a few over the decades–all treasured in memory. Most occurred in superb bobcat habitat in the Southern Appalachian mountains. I’ve had a few dash across the road in front of my pickup, both at night and in broad daylight. I’ve collected exactly two road-killed bobcats–weighed, measured, and photographed them. Yeah. Animal geek here…..Though mostly small game/rodent hunters as you said, a few individual bobcats become adept at killing full grown deer, even though this is not typical for the species as a whole. Where I lived in the Appalachians, locals were not particularly fond of ‘wildcats” as they called them, as many were notorious piglet poachers! And could be scourges on poultry. One interesting thing I learned from habitual bobcat hunters(those that utilized hounds to trail them) was that bobcats, unlike most other felines, have quite the stamina to run long distances, and in areas where they are regularly hunted with hounds, the devil to keep up in a tree long enough for a hunter to arrive to shoot them out! They’ll not hesitate to leap out over the hounds’ heads at the approach of the hunter, and swift enough(with that aforementioned stamina) to lead them on another merry chase! Take a rest in another tree far from the human left behind, and repeat as necessary all day and all night! Long may they prowl what semblance of wild places remain. And they likely will, being so adaptable and elusive(when necessary)!…..L.B.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Amazing. We dont get anything like that in the UK. The wild cats we do have are mostly in Scotland and very rare.
    I don’t know much about Bobcats , what sort of harm can they do to a human? Or would they never attack?

    Anna

    • Attacks have occurred, but it is very, very rare. Actually, it is very rare even to see a bobcat, but one would never want to do anything foolish, such as corner them.
      JP

      • Anonymous says:

        I have heard/read of a few bobcat “attacks”, and all but one were severely provoked by humans. Like the occasional human whose reasoning ability hasn’t quite matured, and climbs a tree to poke out a bobcat with a stick to the hounds below that treed it(in such cases, obviously NOT one of the bobcats more experienced with being hunted by hounds and humans yet–a youngster likely. And just such a lesson is HOW they learn what to do when treed in the future, no doubt!). Such stick-wielding adventurers ALWAYS end up(if they survive the inevitable lesson in gravity)with a great tale to tell, and the scars to verify it! Female bobcats can also be fierce and formidable protectors of their young, if one should foolishly interfere on that score. Another scenario I read about(in a book I think YOU have, JP–ahem!)was a hunter using a predator call(imitating a wounded rabbit squeal), that got jumped on from behind by a bobcat–but once the bobcat realized it’s mistake, was gone in a flash before the hunter could recover his own shock! The one unprovoked attack I read about was from a local RABID bobcat some years ago that sliced and diced about half-a-dozen people before it was mercifully shot to death. According to the newspaper article(ahem!), it was shot 14 times with a .22 before it succumbed. But this was a newspaper article, of which accuracy is optional, of course. And I could imagine 14(and more!) shots being fired, but under the panicky and painful circumstances, perhaps only a few of those being anything like effectively placed! Another reason us country folks like having guns around–rabid critters!!……Scottish(European) wildcats are incredibly interesting felines as well–ever hear of the severe punishment doled out to certain folks in the good old days, of being sewn into a sack with several live and kicking wildcats? And you MIGHT have something similar to our bobcats(a species of lynx) before too long in the U. K.–some serious consideration of reestablishing European lynx there–probably first in Scotland as well…..L.B.

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