Someday when you least expect it you could spot a wild bobcat slinking through a Frederick County forest. You are more likely to hear the cat’s blood curdling howls late at night after they have captured some prey or when it’s mating season than actually spot one.

Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are the most common of our wild cats found throughout the United States up to southern Canada. Bobcat populations are very stable and this is one animal that has adapted well to the influence of humans.

Credit: Maryland DNR (click on image for high resolution)

Bobcats range in size from 20 to 50 pounds and can be 28- to 48-inches tall. A bobcat resembles its cousin to the north, the Canadian lynx, although the bobcat is smaller in stature and has a black spot on its tail (From where it gets its name.)

They are very elusive, solitary animals that are most active during the evening. They prefer rocky areas in heavily forested parcels. Bobcats prefer rabbits and hares as food but will eat anything from insects up to small deer.

A full-grown bobcat has few predators other than humans, wolves or cougars. Smaller bobcats are more vulnerable to a number of animals including coyotes, owls and some hawks. Bobcats mate in the late fall and bear two to three offspring in the early spring.

Article by FCFCDB

Nature note for 12/25/21