Some plump birds are serving as the purrfect snack for local wildlife.
Matthew Little likes watching the little quail run around, but lately he’s been seeing fewer of the “weird little birds.”
The Old Kamloops Road resident soon found out why, when he captured a video of the culprit pouncing in the snow.
“We’ve got a little bobcat running around eating quail. I saw him before and thought he was way bigger but he’s just about the size of a regular cat,” Little said in a Facebook post in the Vernon and Area Community Forum.
“It’s been pretty cool seeing him around. Even though we really love the quail, it feels like less of a loss to lose a quail to one of these guys than a regular cat.
“They are looking pretty juicy this time of year.”
Vernon resident Thea Vrijenhoek also spotted a bobcat last week in her garden.
The wild cats are native to the area and will feed on small animals in the winter.
“We deal with a fair number of bobcats every year,” Wise Wildlife Control Services owner Pete Wise said. “They are found mainly at lower elevations not being lovers of deep snow.”
The wildcats average 16-25 pounds, though one was caught years ago that was almost 60 lbs by Alan Frisby, a Conservation officer in Ooysoos, according to Wise.
Wise’s local company has been getting calls for bobcats breaking into chicken coops.
“They are pretty illusive and will run away but like any animal that gets cornered they can get quite hissy, spitty,” he said.
House cats and small dogs can be at risk, while the threat to humans is very rare
Local wildlife photographer Carla Hunt captured a photo of ‘biggest bobcat I’ve ever seen in January 2021. It is featured on the cover of her Beauty in the Okanagan calendar, as well as the first month of 2022. The calendars are available at Teassential in Vernon and at carlahuntphotography.com.