Night Activity

I am always amazed at the activity in our yard at night – most of which we are unaware or only experience indirectly. Deer, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, racoons and even an occasional mountain lion (to name a few species) wander near the house once the sun sets, while the owls call in the trees outside the bedroom window. It is wonderful!!In the morning scat, digging, the remains of a meal and tracks in the dust or snow hint at the night time movement.

Our recent spell of bitter temperatures and deep snow have drawn bobcats into the yard in search of prey. One morning we found bobcat (Lynx rufus) tracks encircling the house and leading across the pasture to thickets of wild roses in the hedgerows. In these rose thickets California quail (Callipepla californica) and Nuttall’s cottontails (Sylvilagus nuttalli), among other animals, find shelter and food. (The cottontails pull down the rose branches to nibble off the buds. So cute to watch!) The bobcats follow their prey.

In these pictures, taken next to our house in Modoc County CA, all of the tracks going back and forth between the house and the wild rose thickets are bobcat tracks. The bobcats know where to look for food! The amount of night time activity that we never see amazes me.

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