Monday, January 30, 2006

In the still of the night

You may remember me obsessing lately about the game camera that we got for Christmas (here, here, and here.)

Last weekend we moved the camera to a diffent spot. I checked it two mornings in a row, and found no pictures (other than the ones I can't seem to avoid triggering myself). So I decided to put some corn out, and leave it alone the rest of the week.

In the early morning hours of the 26th, a hungry coyote appeared.



At first I thought he was alone. Then I looked closely at the left side of the picture...



Those two beaming headlights are eyes!



His buddy's eyes! Actually they are probably a mated pair.



The flash didn't seem to bother him. Each of these pictures were taken two minutes apart.

Then thirty minutes later...



More coyotes! Or is it the same ones? They look a bit different to me. The one on the right seems a lighter color and heavier than the others. And the tail of the one on the left seems a slightly different color. (I'm far from an expert on coyote identification so I could be wrong though.)

About an hour and forty minutes later... I'm not sure if this is the same coyote from the last picture or not (but I think so).



Then two minutes later...



Hey! That's not nice!

I supposed she is scent-marking. Or maybe she just got tired of all those flashes going off, and decided to moon the camera.

I can't believe that all this was going on during the same night.

But the best was yet to come.



4:26 a.m. Bingo! Bobcat!

I am so glad we got this camera.

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Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

Coyote, Canis latrans
Bobcat, Lynx rufus

26 comments:

fletch said...

Wow. It's extremely rare to see a bobcat pic. Thanks for your efforts with the camera. I wonder if coyotes and bobcats get along.

Nio said...

Cats and dogs aren't known for their love of one another, but it's possible they get along.

Beautiful pictures. I so wish we had a camera like this. What a wonderful gift.

Sonia said...

Great! Amazing pictures! Well done!

oa said...

Hm. . . So where is Jasmine when all this is taking place?

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Fantastic! All those coyote shots, and then the bobcat. Excellent! Aren't they gorgeous? How far is the camera from the house? Does Jasmine bark all night long?

KFarmer said...

Wow! I am impressed! Great pictures. Job well done!

Floridacracker said...

Like everybody else, my jaw is hanging open. How cool is your yard?

Zuleme said...

We just got one too, there is something living in our back garage and we want to see if it is a feral cat or something wilder. Also, there are always lots of prints going across our yard so I want to see what is out there. I have seen moose, in the daytime!
You better keep your cats in at night. I hear coyote packs howling in the marsh below us sometimes, all cats in and accounted for by 3 pm in the winter.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Great photo! I'm glad you got that camera too! I've never seen a wild bobcat. Have you seen one before in your area?

C.S. said...

Fantastic pics. I've been asking DH about buying a camera like yours; we have coons here, and usually I put all scrap food in a plastic bin away from the house for whatever varmint comes along. I wondered if there were any coyotes and bobcats around this area, and your pics prove there are. I live in a neighboring county, so I assume we have the same critters roaming about.

threecollie said...

That camera is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

bill said...

So much activity! That camera is really cool.

weldergirl said...

Those are great photos! I wondered if there were still any bobcat in this area. Knowing that i don't live very far from you I wonder also if these fellows are snooping around my place! Do you know the range of bobcats/coyotes? Do you keep your cats in at night? Allen says when we move into the new house Grendal has to stay out and I worry. She's a sissy cat.

Rurality said...

Thanks y'all. We're having such fun with this camera.

The camera is not close to the house... I suppose it would be closer if you went through the woods, but by the path it's about 800 steps away. (Yes, Hick has me counting steps!) Jasmine doesn't go there unless she's walking with us. (Well we don't think so anyway.)

She does bark a lot at night. I think she's hearing/seeing mostly deer and rabbits, but I'm not sure really. She spends a lot of time near the duck pen. (Got to keep those deer & rabbits away from the ducks, you know. Where she was when the deer were eating my veggies, I have no idea.)

Yes, cats need to always be inside at night in this county. Weldergirl, our cat that we brought with us disappeared after a few months here. We presume a coyote got him, but it could have been a bobcat.

In fact after reading a little about them, it could really have been a bobcat hunting during the day (apparently rare but not unheard of) that got our chickens... I'm still voting for coyotes on that though. When you see coyotes during the day, you know there are lots of coyotes! (We don't see them in the yard as often since we got Jasmine, but still do every now and then.)

We knew there were bobcats here - we'd found tracks before, and had talked to other people who'd seen them. They are pretty shy though. I believe they are more common than people think.

Weldergirl I can guarantee you that there are coyotes and bobcats where your property is! Better keep the kitty in at night. :)

I am halfway thinking that I may catch a mountain lion/cougar/puma with the camera... they say there are none here, but people keep reporting seeing them. I have found some sign that I thought could be them: large scat with long scratching marks nearby. I thought that it was too big for a bobcat. After reading more about coyotes though, I learned that they scratch the ground sometimes as territorial markings - so it could have been that.

Rachel said...

What great pictures!! So fascinating to see what goes on while you sleep! I'd love a camera like that but I'd say about all I'd see are stray cats, opossums, raccoons, and skunks!

Rurality said...

We've never seen a raccoon here! I think the coyotes keep them in check. (We have seen their tracks though.)

I believe that skunks must be less common than when I was a kid. Haven't seen one of those here either.

Sharfa said...

That is so cool!

Wayne said...

That's amazing, and congratulations on your bobcat. Were the coyotes eating the corn? Must be quite a wildlife crossroads there - what made you choose that particular spot to place the camera?

Dave said...

This is great! If I were in your place, I think I'd have a hard time resisting the temptation to stake out a chicken or two.

mountainmelody said...

Thanks for these pictures! I live near you, so now I know these animals are around my house too. I think I'll stay inside at night. ;-)

TheTwinkie said...

Hi!

Coool! On one of our famous Shriner Trips, we saw a family of deer!

Love your pictures!

Twinks ;)

thingfish23 said...

Well, now you ALL know what to get good ol' tf23 for Christmas next year.

Holy Moley.

yllstonewolf said...

how much fun is all of this!!! the coyote seemed to have a bit of an attitude :) - but the most fun is the bobcat! what luck!

Rurality said...

Thanks Sharfa! We've been wanting one of these for a while. Now I wish we'd gotten it sooner.

Wayne, yep! I thought deer would stop and eat the corn, but they must be avoiding this coyote-filled area. We decided to put the camera in that spot because we'd seen lots of coyote scat in the area. I think the road must be one of their territorial boundries, so they're walking there a lot.
I think we'll probably continue to move the camera around just to see what turns up in different spots.

Dave, no! I'm not making chicken snuff films here... although that does give me an idea for threatening the rooster who was challenging me the other day...

Mountainmelody, thanks for commenting - it's great to know that there are other area bloggers. Yep, if outside at night, it pays to have a big big dog!

Hi Twinks, we used to get SO excited seeing deer, because there were not so many... but around here there are a LOT now. You have to be careful not to hit them with your car at night.

TF, will start the collection... :)

YW, LOADS of fun! :) We had some dry catfood that the kitties had turned their noses up at, and put that out... three more pics of coyotes, but no more bobcats. :( I need to resist the urge to check the thing every day... think we'll get more pics that way.

Rhodent said...

You live in a paradise!gl

Anonymous said...

The coyotes looked very healthy with such nice coats. I haven't seen a bobcat since I was a kid. Keep sharing the game cam with us!