Bobcats are a member of the cat family found throughout a large portion of North America, from southern Canada through to northern Mexico. They are about double the size of a domesticated cat and have been known to reach 22 kg (48 lbs) in weight. They are best known for their distinctive markings, including black bars on their front legs, black tipped tail and spotted patterning. This appearance helps camouflage the animal and allows it to be an effective hunter. Let’s take a look at the common diet of the bobcat.
What do bobcats eat?
The bobcat is an opportunistic carnivore (meat eater) and will hunt virtually anything available to them. Their standard diet does vary by region, but in many areas rabbits and hares are the favorite prey. They are capable of hunting animals in a wide range of sizes, from small insects through to large animals such as deer. They can adjust their hunting techniques to suit the type of prey they are catching and will happily lie in wait or actively hunt prey.
Common food sources include: rodents, squirrels, birds, insects and fish. Small foxes, skunks, dogs, cats and minks are also important prey species when other food is scarce. Larger animals, such as sheep, goats and deer, are important when all other food sources are not available (such as during winter). The bobcat will kill a large animal in this situation so that it can return later to continue to feed on the carcass. They have been known to bury the carcass under snow for this purpose. Bobcats are also known to scavenge on a carcass that were killed by other animals.
Did you know?
Bobcats are a major threat to the endangered Whooping Crane and it was a bobcat that killed the first Whooping Crane chick born into the wild in 60 years!