Monday, January 7, 2013

Tracking A Bobcat

  "Hey, look! some Bobcat tracks!"
    Animal tracking is a fun thing to do when the woods is buried in snow.  The woods seems rather quiet and empty in the winter, until you take note of all the animal tracks.  Those tracks enable a person to "observe" what happened while you weren't looking.
 Following Bobcat tracks through the snowy woods is almost as good as watching one in real time.  Can you see what I mean by looking at this photo?
bobcat tracks in the snow along rock ledge

We followed some Bobcat tracks along this ledge of rocks.
The Bobcat would slip underneath the overhanging ledges where there was bare ground.  It was as if it wanted to stay out of the snow in cat-like fashion (the boys say that's what their cat would do).   Of course, those protected areas are also good places to hunt for rodents like squirrels and wood rats.
After sticking to the rock ledge to the end, the Bobcat tracks went off through the woods... through tunnels in the Laurel, over logs, under branches...
bobcat tracking

Here is a photo to illustrate Coyote tracks vs Bobcat tracks.  We lifted a Coyote print from elsewhere and placed alongside a Bobcat print.  Notice how the Coyote track is oblong and slightly larger.
 Also, Coyote tracks show claw marks and wide outer toes.Coyote paw print
 Here is another photo of a Coyote track.
 
Here's another comparison shot.  This time the oblong, clawed Coyote track is on the right and the more roundish, slightly smaller Bobcat paw print is on the left.  Too bad the tracks weren't fresh. The size of the Bobcat tracks was 2 in. by 2 in. while the Coyote tracks measured 2 by 2.5.
Bobcat vs Coyote
 We encountered numerous Coyote trails.
Coyote tracks in the snow
 They were running hither and yon.
Coyote tracks in the snaow

Hey, there go the Bobcat tracks out into the woods!
Bobcat tracks
 Wouldn't it be great if we could trail the Bobcat until we find something really neat?
Yes, I reckon it would be great.
Great exercise, great experience, great views, great education...
Hike along when we follow a Bobcat's tracks.

2 comments:

  1. oohh, it gives me the willies... but yes! Very cool.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How very exciting. Yes. Follow the tracks. It makes me sad to think that without someone like you walking in the woods with me and pointing stuff out, I miss so much.

    ReplyDelete