Breeding Behavior: She’s Ready

I caught these two only three days earlier in the same place, but at that time she gave him the cold shoulder. Apparently, now she’s ready (video was captured on a field-camera on January 27th between 9:30 pm and 1 am). On this day he licks her and she responds by lifting her tail and accepting his overtures. He attempts mounting. But then her yearling daughter (with another mate) suddenly appears on the scene and seemingly interrupts them. Daughter shows interest in Dad’s equipment — and I’ve slowed this section of the video down because otherwise you might miss it. Immediately afterwards, Mom inserts herself between the other two. She gives daughter a mild nip on the mouth — she needs daughter to stick around and help defend the territory, so she doesn’t want to viciously drive her off. You can then see Mom gaping and daughter’s ears pulled back as Mom escorts daughter away. Mounting then resumes but mostly out of view of the camera. If a tie occurred, it was not captured on the video.

Soon Outsider Male comes by. He’s been in the area for several months but is not part of the family — he is never with them, so I don’t know his role, but I know of one other non-related *outsider* who has been living on someone else’s claimed territory for over a year now, so I suppose this kind of arrangement happens now and then. The outside male can probably detect what went on here just a few hours earlier. He assesses the place, urinates to leave his mark, kicks the ground, and then leaves. Then Mom & Dad return and in turn, they smell who has been there. Dad urinates and kicks. Dad continues his super-interested in Mom and licks her, and then they trot off. The mounting behavior only seen at this time gives us a timeline for when pups will arrive — after a 63 day standard gestation period. The female is viable for only a few short days each season, and that happens to be now.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Krishnan R.S.
    Feb 08, 2022 @ 05:33:40

    This is incredible footage – like watching something on Planet Earth – though the location is not nearly as exotic or hard to reach as in Planet Earth.
    I have to imagine such footage is very rare!
    What kind of equipment do you use to shoot this?


  2. Krishnan R.S.
    Feb 14, 2022 @ 06:52:06

    We get some backyard “visitors” – raccoons, skunks, badger I think, and whole bunch of feral cats. I want to capture some of the happenings @ night in our backyard. If you have recommendations on a setup for camera + rigs + motion detectors I’d be very grateful. I’d rather start from something is “known to work” vs spend some $$ and land up with something that is useless.


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Feb 14, 2022 @ 16:00:53

      Hi Krishnan — Sounds like a great endeavor! I’ve tried a variety of brands such as Bushnell and Browning: they all seem to work fine. You can get them between $100 and $200 and even higher in price — I really don’t think it makes a difference. I myself like to set the camera to video (vs. still photos). Once you have your camera and set it up, you can then experiment with where you want to place it and some of the settings (i.e., 10 second video or 20 second video, 40 or 80 foot distance, etc). This one has been working well for me: Hope this helps? Janet

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