On the trail with bobcats, butterflies



A Florida Bobcat set to pounce on a butterfly.

A Florida Bobcat set to pounce on a butterfly.

Native butterflies are out in full swing this month, which got me thinking about the interaction between them and the bobcat with which I have had a previous close encounter.
I was returning from a long morning hike in the Guana River Wildlife Management Area, when I suddenly came across a large male bobcat just off the side of the trail, staring at me from under some foliage. I froze in my tracks and quickly got on the ground where I could take some photos before he ran off.

butterfly lg
He didn’t run away as I had expected, but instead was chasing several butterflies. I became transfixed watching this wildcat stalking and jumping, much as I would expect to see from the neighbor’s household cat who loves to chase anything that flies.

guana (17 of 18)
As the stubby-tailed cat chased and swiped at its undersized prey, he proved he was no match as the butterflies danced unfazed from plant to plant. After several minutes, the slightly annoyed butterflies flew high into the oak trees, leaving the cat to wonder off in the bush, perhaps to find more suitable prey.

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/community/shorelines/2013-08-02/story/focus-trail-bobcats-butterflies#ixzz2auiH0Zbu

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