Wild Creatures among us: Bobcat in North City / LFP

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Bobcat in North City
Photo by Mary Freeborn

By Diane Hettrick

Shoreline resident Mary Freeborn was treated to the sight of what appears to be a juvenile bobcat strolling through her yard, and was able to get these photos.

She lives above the woods off 25th NE and NE 177th on the Shoreline side. Lake Forest Park is on the other side of 25th NE.

According to Aaron Wirsing, Assistant Professor, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS) at the University of Washington,

Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are closely related to lynx but are able to use a wide variety of habitats, including city suburbs. They typically weigh about 25 pounds and have paws that are about twice the size of those of a domestic cat.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says "Found throughout all of Washington, bobcats are probably more common than most people realize. Bobcats appear to be using suburban settings more often, although due to their reclusive ways, they are not often seen."

Mary says that "I feel so lucky to be at the right place, at the right time."

Bobcat looking toward camera'
Photo by Mary Freeborn

So far I've been told about sightings in central Shoreline in the Echo Lake Neighborhood, Innis Arden, Lake Forest Park where Phillippa Kassover got a lot of photos (see previous article) and now this one in North City.

Fish and Wildlife has an information page on bobcats
Because of their elusive nature and caution around humans, bobcats are seldom seen. In areas occupied by humans, these cats typically limit their activity to night hours. (In dim light, bobcats see up to six times better than humans.) In undisturbed areas, they can be active at dawn or dusk if prey is active at that time. However, bobcats may be active during any time of day.

Bobcats travel in predictable patterns along logging roads, railways, and trails made by other animals to move between resting areas, food sources, or hunting areas. Evidence of a bobcat’s presence may include tracks in snow or mud, droppings, feeding areas, and claw marks on tree trunks.

Oh, and hope that you are not within earshot of mating bobcats. According to Fish and Wildlife,
Bobcats rarely vocalize, although they often yowl and hiss during the mating season, especially when competing males have intentions toward the same receptive female. Such wails have been likened to a child crying, a woman’s scream, and the screeching of someone in terrible pain.


Anonymous,  August 25, 2022 at 12:42 PM  

Such magnificent, beautiful animals. We are so fortunate. Please, please let them be, people, and keep your domestic animals indoors.

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