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Bobcats love Hasenpfeffer.  But they can't cook, so raw rabbit it is.  And there are lots of rabbits in the alley behind my sister's house.

The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations you have made of the world around you.  Insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds and/or flowers.  All are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
So my sister went out to get the mail one recent evening around 7:30 PM.  Still plenty light out and hot. Mind you this is a very suburban area just a mile or so off the George Bush Tollway in Carrollton, Texas. She was very surprised to see, right there on the sidewalk, a female bobcat and her 2 kittens.  She ran back inside to get the camera.  The adult ran across the street into a neighbors yard but the kittens stayed around, curious I imagine, as the young so often are.

Hop on over the cat scat for more.

Bobcats thrive throughout most of the United States.  Of all the North American native cats, they are the most abundant and cover the largest range. There are about 1 million in the US despite increasing habitat loss due to us humans and the fact that they are still hunted for their pelts and for sport or trophies.

About twice the size of domestic cats, bobcats can weigh up to 40 pounds. They are solitary, nocturnal animals that are extremely adaptable to varying habitats. They are excellent hunters and can pounce on unsuspecting prey from a distance of 10 feet.  Must be from eating all that rabbit.

The black stripes on the inside of the forelegs and the shortened "bobbed" tail from which they get their name, helps to distinguish them from other large cats.

In the wild they may live up to 12 years. Mating season is around February for this part of the country.  Litter size ranges from 2 to 7 with 3 being the average. Colors and spotting vary depending on location and type of habitat. Both males and females have longer fur on the sides of the face called ruffs and tufted ears which are black on the top.

I think these two must be four or five months old and probably already weaned. They will stay with their mother for another six or seven months learning to hunt and fend for themselves.  My guess is this trio was out looking for water since food is abundant and water is scarce.

Bobcats are elusive and therefore not often seen by people. They are shy, seldom vocal and harmless to humans.  In the city they provide a service by keeping the rodent population in check and eating carrion. I hope these two find a suitable habitat and thrive in the city.

Many thanks to my sister for letting me share her photos with all of you.


The Diane Arbus Bobcat Twins


You're up. What's prowling & pouncing in your neck of the woods?

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Originally posted to Backyard Science on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 07:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

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