Friday Creature Feature: Bobcat

The bobcat (Lynx rufus) can be found all throughout the United States, Mexico, and Southern Canada. Like the coyote, the bobcat is adaptable and can be found in many habitat types. In the Sky Island Region, they can be found in the alpine tops of mountains to the hot desert floors. Bobcats are also adapting to the human sprawl as well, can be found in suburbs across the region.

Range Map Compilers: Sechrest, 2002

Bobcats get their name from their bobbed tail, which is around 6 inches long. They have brown coats with spots and stripes on their body. Depending on the individual, the markings can be very faint, or very distinct. Sometimes on our wildlife cameras, a blurry bobcat with dark spots can look like an ocelot! But their little tail is always the give-a-way.

However, the bobcat looks very different than an ocelot. Bobcats have tufted triangular ears and long fur on their checks making them look like they have sideburns. They are tall and lanky here in the Sky Island Region, measuring around 20 inches tall.

Bobcats only eat meat, and hunt mostly rabbits, rodents, birds, and reptiles. They prefer rabbits, and in the city,  there is an ample supply of cottontail rabbits. Bobcats are crepuscular and nocturnal, meaning they hunt in the morning and evening hours as well as at night. So, keep your eye out for a bobcat next time you are on the outskirts of town!


Animal Diversity Web