The bobcat, Lynx rufus
, is named for its short, "bobbed" tail
. They have a ruff
of hair around their faces, and short tufts of hair at the top of their ear
. Bobcats can be various shades of brown
, and usually have black
spots on their undersides, many also onto the sides and back. They live in southern Canada
, throughout the U.S.
, and northern Mexico
, in all sorts of habitat
s; the ones in forest
s tend to be smaller than the ones in open areas.
They mostly eat rabbits, rats and hares, but have been known to go for larger animals. They can be active at any hour, but most commonly at dawn and dusk because that's when their prey is out and about. They are generally solitary.
Bobcats are doing pretty well; they are protected in many places because they have been hunted for their fur, but they are not nearly as threatened as many wild cats. In some cases human settlement has helped them by producing small fields and woodlots which are good places to find prey.