Celebrating a Bobcat Mom in the Borderlands

This year, in honor of Mother’s Day (on May 10 in Mexico and May 12 in the U.S.), we wanted to acknowledge a special bobcat mother who has raised two successful litters right in front of one of our Border Wildlife Study cameras in the San Rafael Valley.

Bobcats are tricky to tell apart visually. Often you have to look at black markings on the inside of their front legs to tell them apart. However, one cat on our cameras has a distinctive downturned right-ear tuft, probably due to a past injury. Because of this unique physical trait, we’ve been able to keep track of her throughout the years. She was first seen in 2021, but we only have two photos and always by herself.

However, in 2022 we can presume she had a litter of kittens near the area, because in early 2023 her litter spent time playing in front of the camera.

Mom also got some beauty shots, as she often sat in front of the camera. It’s easy to see her ear tuft in these photos.

And she must have liked this location, because in 2023 we were lucky enough to see her raise her next litter too and watch them grow up in front of the camera. Bobcats reproduce once a year in the spring, so the grown kittens from last year’s litter have moved on to find their own territories.

Just like their siblings from the previous year, these little ones do everything kittens do best — run wild, play with their food, and bother mom.

By this point in 2024, it’s safe to assume that these youngsters have flown the nest. Life as a wild cat is hard, and we don’t know when we’ll next see this cat on camera again. But we wish her a happy Mother’s Day and all the best!