The closest stop sign is over a mile away and the first traffic light is 5+ miles down the road. A visit to the grocery store is almost 30 miles round trip. It's quiet here; just the sound of toads and coyotes at night. It seems very still, but when you look close there's always something happening. Read on about a few things we've noticed over the past few years.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Here kitty kitty kitty.....

I finally saw a bobcat! 
It ran across the road as I was driving home
and quickly disappeared into the brush. 

The bobcat is a preditor that's found all over North America in wooded areas, semi-desert, urban edges, and swamplands.   They are twice as big as a domestic cat.  Though the bobcat prefers rabbits, it will eat anything from bugs to rodents to deer. Prey depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and largely solitary.   It marks its territory by deposits of urine/feces and claw marks.

Bobcats breed from winter into spring and have a gestation period of two months.  They generally begin breeding by their second summer.   A dominant male will travel with a female and mate with her several times during February and March. The pair may undertake a number of different behaviors, including bumping, chasing, and ambushing. During courtship, the otherwise silent bobcat may let out loud screams, hisses, or other sounds.

Bobcats remain reproductively active throughout their lives.  The female raises the young alone. One to six, but usually two to four, kittens are born in April or May, There may sometimes be a second litter, with births as late as September.  The young open their eyes by the ninth or tenth day. They start exploring their surroundings at four weeks and are weaned at about two months. Within about four months they begin to travel with their mother.  They will be hunting by themselves by fall of their first year and usually disperse shortly thereafter. Bobcats keep on the move from three hours before sunset until about midnight, and then again from before dawn until three hours after sunrise. Each night it will move from 2 to 7 miles along its habitual route!   In its territory the bobcat will have numerous places of shelter: usually a main den and several additional shelters on the outer edges of its range, such as hollow logs, brush piles, or under rock ledges. Its den smells strongly of the bobcat.   Bobcats have a healthy population.
Bobcats typically live to six or eight years of age, with a few reaching beyond ten. The longest they have been known to live is 16 years in the wild and 32 years in captivity. 

Here kitty kitty kitty.....

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