Cheryl Sigler took this photo in Bear Valley Springs of a Bobcat as it was resting in the driveway at the home of her parents, Dan and Cynthia Baer. Cheryl offered these details about the photo: "The bobcat appeared to be sleeping in my parents' driveway. As I was photographing him, a squirrel came along and was swiftly caught by the suddenly roused — and hungry — cat."
While cottontail rabbits seem to be the favorite food of these able predators, Bobcats will take a variety of prey, including gophers, mice, rats, voles, birds, and as Cheryl witnessed, ground squirrels.
Unlike coyotes and foxes, which eat a wide variety of foods, including fruit and berries, carrion and more, Bobcats are largely meat-obligate and typically feed only on prey that they have caught themselves.
They are resourceful predators, however, and when hungry can take a wide variety of game, including fawns, chickens, fish, insects, and even small dogs and domestic cats.
Like most predators, Bobcats can go for long periods of time without eating if food is scarce. In times of abundance, Bobcats may eat daily, since they are such effective hunters.
However, they are also perfectly capable of only eating a couple of times a week with no ill effect, as long as they are able to eat heavily when prey is available.
The Nuwä (Kawaiisu or Paiute) word for Bobcat is tükütsi, pronounced TUH-kuhts.
NATURAL SIGHTINGS is a regular feature of the Tehachapi News edited by Jon Hammond which showcases photos of the natural beauty that enhances the quality of life in Tehachapi. If you have a good quality image of plants, animals, insects, trees, birds, weather phenomena, etc., taken in the Tehachapi area, you may submit it to the Tehachapi News for possible publication. Submissions can be dropped by the News office in the form of a print or CD, or sent by email to: email@example.com.