If you're interested in using any of these photographs, please contact me. Send an e-mail to naturalhistoryphotos(at)gmail.com. Thanks!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Double take

Driving to work early this morning along the Bodega Highway, I did a double take while looking out the window (Eric was driving).  Just outside of the town of Bodega, one of the utility poles didn't look quite right!


Can you see why?


Here's another view: 
 



And one of the top of the pole that's even closer and cropped:



A Bobcat was perched at the very top of the utility pole!  When we first saw it, the light was dim and the cat had its eyes closed much of the time.



But as the sun rose above the hills, the Bobcat started to look around:


Over the years, I've heard several stories of Bobcats being observed at the tops of utility poles.  Whenever hearing about it, or seeing pictures of them in this position, I've often wondered what this behavior is about.

During one incident, the observer thought perhaps the Bobcat had been chased up the pole by a Mountain Lion.  Other possibilities Are they just looking for a place to rest?  Using it as a lookout?  Did the Bobcat chase something up there?  What do you think?  Why do Bobcats climb to the tops of utility poles?

If you haven't done so already, check out those large paws and handsome spots!


We continued on our way to work, leaving while the Bobcat was still perched on the pole.  But throughout the day I kept wondering about it.  What was the Bobcat doing up there, and when (and how) did it climb down?



ADDENDUM (2 January 2014): As a follow-up to John's comment below, I can't help but post one more image.  Just before we were about to leave, a pair of ravens came by and one bird swooped in extremely close to the Bobcat (see below).  The cat didn't seem to react, and the raven just flew off and landed on a nearby pole.  I don't know if they interacted further after we left.  I didn't share this picture because it's blurry (I wasn't quite ready and it happened very quickly), but now I can't resist...and perhaps it's appropriate, especially as this unfolded within sight of the former schoolhouse where a scene from The Birds was filmed.


6 comments:

SuzyScience said...

Absolutely fantastic pic! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I think the same way domestic house cats like to rest/sit at the highest point in a house, that is what the bobcat is doing. I interpret it as a way for the cat to have a high vantage point of their territory -- while also resting in a place away from predators. -Patricia Lambert

Anonymous said...

oh Jackie, I LOVE these! the picture of his face looks startlingly intelligent...

John W. Wall said...

Great sighting. I wonder if a passing raven would do a double-take too.

Jackie Sones said...

Hi, John,

Well, now that you mention it -- see the addendum above!

shirlgirl said...

Wonderful pictures--especially the one with the raven. That bobcat is a biggy for sure.