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Monday, June 25, 2012

Spots and stripes forever

For years I've only caught fleeting glimpses of this handsome feline.  On 24 June 2012, I finally photographed a Bobcat (Lynx rufus) on Bodega Head.

What beautiful spots and stripes!  

Bobcats are about 25-30 inches long and weigh ~15-30 lbs.  Note the short tail (the tip is black above and white underneath), long legs, and short black fur tufts at the tips of the ears.  

Below you can see the broad, soft feet, and the foot pads on the back right foot (four toes, retractable claws).

Bobcats are crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) and nocturnal (active at night).  They are stealth predators using a pounce-and-strike method to hunt a variety of animals, primarily small mammals and birds.

It was fun to learn that Lynx means "lamp" in Latin, and refers to either the specialized vision of these cats for hunting in dimly lit conditions, or the way their eyes reflect light at night.  (Thanks to Paul Rezendes in Tracking & the Art of Seeing for this fact.)


Anonymous said...


Maria Potter said...

I saw a similar looking creature here on Salmon Creek Rd. in Bodega about two weeks ago. I noticed the tail which was longer than I remembered bobcats as having. Thanks for your outstanding photos.

Philip said...

Good looking kitty. Hope you were using a long focal length lens for these photos. The last one could have had the caption "Yes I know I am real handsome".

Unknown said...

I saw him at the "S" curve on the Lab road Monday morning heading up the hill towards the head.