Tag Archives: bobcat

Expecting at Lathrop, Part 1

by Barbara Walvoord

There are one heck of a lot of pregnant females on our land at Lathrop right now. No, I’m not talking about us old folks becoming the new biblical Abraham and Sarah. I’m talking about the wild creatures that call our Lathrop land their home.

Our coyote couple–the ones we hear howling sometimes at night–has mated in February or March and is expecting a litter of 4-8 pups in April or May. The cute pup above was photographed by John Good of the National Park Service. The coyote family unit contains mom and dad, who mate for life, possibly 1 or 2 “teenage” coyotes called helpers (are they more willing than our human teenagers?), and perhaps other, non-mating adults who, if the alpha couple is killed, will mate like crazy and have bigger litters than usual. More at http://www.predatordefense.org/coyotes.htm

Our bobcat female has mated in late winter with a philandering dad whose territory overlaps hers and that of several other females. On the east campus, we see our bobcat passing through; resident Chuck Gillies photographed this one in his back yard. All winter, we see bobcat tracks in the snow.

Photo by Chuck Gillies
Photo by Chuck Gillies

Our bobcat mom will soon give birth in a secluded den. She’ll take about 9 months to teach the kittens how to hunt and then, Continue reading Expecting at Lathrop, Part 1

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Life Amid the Roses

by Barbara Walvoord

In our East campus wetland, bobcat tracks often follow our snowshoe tracks for long distances. But the other day, the bobcat left the trail rather quickly and headed straight off, very purposefully, breaking new snow, its paws sinking sometimes 6 inches deep, over a little hill, through bushes, under pine trees, on and on. I followed its tracks on my snowshoes.

Finally, the bobcat came to an area with huge thickets of multiflora rose. It’s rabbit city: rabbit droppings, rabbit tracks in the snow, and rabbit burrows everywhere.

One of the main foods of the bobcat is–rabbit!

Our bobcat dodged through the dense, thorny thicket from one rabbit hole to another, doubling back and twisting around. Rose thorns hooked my pants as I tried to follow.

I kept looking for pounce marks, snow flung around in a struggle, some blood or fur. Nope. As far as I could tell, Bre’r Rabbit escaped this time, and Bre’r Bobcat went away hungry.

Sister Hawk (or was it Sister Owl?), however, did not go home hungry. A set of rabbit tracks stopped short, with a scuffle in the snow and some telltale wing marks. This photo by Sharon Grace tells the story.

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Impervious to their neighbor’s fate, small birds were fluttering and chattering away amid the roses.

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The Asian invasive multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) that so dominates this piece of our land crowds out native plants, creating a Continue reading Life Amid the Roses