Bobcat Journal

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Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

The bobcat is a shy and evasive creature known for its fierceness and agility as a hunter in the wild. Adults have a dark spotted tawny brown coat, long legs and a handsome cat face. Their small ears have short ear tufts and their bobbed tail is striped with a tip that is black on top and pale underneath. Their head and body measure between 25 and 30 inches; the tail adds another 5 inches to its length. Full grown they weigh between 15 and 35 pounds.

Bobcats make their homes in hollow logs, rock crevices and overhangs blending in with their environment to keep themselves hidden. They have adapted well to the swamps, forests, and deserts of the United States.

Like all cats, the bobcat is a keen and skillful predator. Their large eyes, long sharp canine teeth and thin sharp claws give them their fierce reputation. Unfortunately they have been subject to federal control operations for fear that they will kill livestock. But in reality, bobcats primarily eat small mammals and birds. They hunt mostly at night by sitting motionless for hours watching for prey. They are silent stalkers and their stealth and speed are their strength. If they kill something that they can't consume all at once, they will cover their food with snow or forest debris for a later meal.

Bobcats are solitary animals and hard to see in the wild, but their populations are healthy. Listen for their deep-toned yowling, howling and snarling and for the faint sound of their claws scratching on trees. They are sharing some of their secrets.

artwork by Linda Matusich © 1993

text by Kara Jean Hagedorn

Tags: animals,