Bobcats on Sonoma Mountain

Approximately twice the weight of a house cat, the bobcat’s (Lynx rufus) diet is strictly carnivorous and includes primarily small mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles (lots of snakes, including rattlesnakes). Bobcats range far and wide through many habitat types. While hunting, they often spot gophers popping out of their holes. As in the photo at the upper left, they sneak in close, timing their stalk for when the gopher is beneath the surface then, once in range, they pounce when the gopher pops back up. This bobcat was surprised in the act and behaved as they normally do…it ran. Bobcats are shy, and wary of humans. When they are unaware of human observers, one can often watch them walk through an area, listening for the rustling sounds that betray small rodent prey, or relaxing on a favorite sentinel rock.