Previously I have noted many of the animal tracks we find around our house and on our property. The animals are very active after the sun goes down.
Lately bobcats (Lynx rufus) have been particularly bold about coming into the yard. On occasion we see them wandering about our fields during the day and their tracks attest to their nocturnal wanderings. The diet of bobcats, also called wildcats, consists mainly of hares, rabbits, and other small rodents such as ground squirrels, wood rats and gophers. They will occasionally take ground birds too. The hedgerow near our house often has bobcat tracks around the perimeter – the hedgerow is home to rabbits and quail as well as mice.
Bobcats will nest in a hollow tree or log, a rock cave or a dense thicket. There is a bobcat den in a nearby bluff. We can easily track the bobcat to its shelter when there is a new snow. Although you cannot see them in this picture, there are bobcat tracks leading directly to this rock cave.
Not far from the den Leonard and I found bobcat scat. Like domestic cats, the wildcat will attempt to cover its scat. The distinct claw prints around the scat and the narrow constrictions in the scat itself identify it as that of a bobcat.
Leonard examined the scat and found pack rat teeth amid the fur and bone pieces. That bobcat recently had a pack rat meal and one of the nearby pack rat homes is probably missing its owner.
The bobcat story continues tomorrow –