Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bobcats in Northern VA

People hardly believe they are in our area, but there are many tales (bobbed tales!) of these extremely well hidden creatures roaming the suburbs.  So let's finally break this one down for all the Northern VA suburbanites out there.

Yes, we do have native bobcats roaming Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William Counties.  They are not something to fear, but more of something to be aware of.  I've seen them on multiple outings while wildlifin' around the area.  Sterling, Leesburg, Bluemont, McLean, Great Falls, Haymarket, Manassas, and Falls Church are all places where I've either seen them in person or on trail cameras.

Bobcats are predators, but will most likely leave your pets alone.  They feast on rabbits, birds, snakes, moles, mice, shrews, and other small meals.  I've seen a family of bobcats raiding a trash dumpster outside of a business right next to a major highway in Fairfax County.  There have been some roadkilled ones as well.  Great Falls had two roadkilled (that I know of) just in the past 3 months.  There have been roadkills on Kirby Road near McLean, Virginia a few times in the past two years, and I've even heard about one killed on the road on Fairfax County Parkway.

So where's the pictures?

Well, here they are!!!

These are brought to you from the Centreville/Haymarket area with permissions from other camera owners and my own cameras.

Have you ever seen a bobcat in Northern Virginia?  Comment here and let me know!


  1. I haven't seen one in years, how exciting! We saw one of these handsome critters about 20 years ago while trout fishing on the Conway River. He/She was walking down the rough road just ahead of us.

    BTW, I'm looking for a good wildlife trail cam, and wondered if you had any recommendations or suggestions? what to look for?

    Great blog, glad I stumbled upon it.

    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Glad to hear about your bobcat sighting.
      As for recommendations on camera brands, I would highly recommend both StealthCam and Bushnell camera traps (trail cameras). They have never failed me, in my 3 years of doing this with many types of cameras. They have very long battery life, good quality images, and are very user-friendly.

  2. People always look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them there are bobcats in the Leesburg area. I just started out using trail cameras and last week I got my first footage of a bobcat on video. You only see the top of his head for about 23 seconds. He was checking out my cam. It was not much but I was excited to have my first bobcat on camera. I left the cam there and will return in a few weeks to see if he ( or she) came back. This is right on the loudoun county and Jefferson county Wv line off of the Appalachian trail.

  3. People always look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them that there are bobcats in the Leesburg area. I just started using trail cams and just got my first video footage of a bobcat. He or she was checking out my cam but you can only see the top of it's head for the first 23 seconds or so.But I was still excited to have my first shot of a bobcat . This was off the Appalachian trail right on the Loudoun county and Jefferson county wv line. I left the camera there and will return in a couple of weeks to see if it came back.

  4. There was a cougar sighting reported in Oakton yesterday (3/22/16). This would be the holy grail for wildlife cams, right? If true - I'm just passing on the report, which I read in the "Nextdoor" neighborhood forum.

    "Cougar stopped running on Cobb Hill Lane crossing into the woods across from Quarter Horse Court. This siting occurred at approx. 3:45 pm and Fairfax County Animal Control was notified." Note that there were a flurry of cougar sightings in the Mount Vernon area in 2014.

  5. The first one I've ever seen was just south of Front Royal on the AT.

  6. We spotted a bobcat in our neighbors backyard today. We live in Donaldson Run, Arlington, VA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzCV1meB_oM

  7. I just saw a huge cat tonight while out with my dog. It was a few yards away so we stopped in the shadow to let it cross far ahead of us. I just moved here from PA and thought maybe it was a mountain lion so I googled it when I got home and apparently there haven't been cougars in this area for a little by time but it said possibly a bobcat. I couldn't be sure because it was around midnight and it was pretty dark but this cat was the size of my dog almost and he's a 60lb pit bull. He just stood silently and stared at it just as amazed as I was. This was in Alexandria VA.

  8. Came across a a bobcat this morning while running in Burke at about 5:30. I first caught the reflection of it's eyes in my headlamp and thought it was a house cat, which I've seen in the same area multiple times, or a racoon. It moved towards the trail I was using, which doesn't usually happen with cats, fox or raccoons. It then crossed the path ~20ft in front of me. It was clearly larger than either of those. Roughly 18" at the shoulders/back, thick legs, no tail. Definitely not house cat, racoon, or fox. Disappeared silently in the underbrush.