Over the past couple of years I have been fortunate enough to see several bobcats come through our yard. The latest was a week or so ago. It was the smallest one I’ve seen, not much bigger than a house cat (full grown bobcats are twice the size of house cats). And it was chased up a tree in the yard by a deer. Of course, we all went outside and sat on the deck to wait for the deer to leave and the bobcat to come down so we could get a better look. Eventually the big mean deer wandered off and the bobcat came down. It stalked our rabbits. Oh no! Alas, the bobcat was neither sneaky enough nor fast enough to catch one.
Clearly our latest bobcat is very young. That made me wonder if it would be able to survive the winter. I will never know if that particular one does, but at this point in the season, bobcat young indeed are on their own. Our bobcat was likely born in April or May along with several siblings, and left its mother come fall.
Overall bobcats are very adaptable animals. They live in a wide variety of habitats across North America, including woodlands, swamps, deserts, and mountains. It is also not picky about what it eats, though it does prefer rabbits. It is definitely a carnivore, dining on rodents, birds, insects, and more. They will even eat deer fawns. While I do not particularly like to bear witness to animals hunting, a bobcat’s gotta eat and I hope our visitor hones its hunting techniques quickly.
On a side note, the evening after we saw the bobcat, I heard a strange sound outside just after sunset. It was a cross between a crow and a dog barking. I know that crows don’t call at night and the sound wasn’t quite like a dog. It was the bobcat once again. I hope the young bobcats sticks around!