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Bobcat        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Bobcats are found throughout much of the continental US, even in fairly urbanized areas, but are -- usually -- secretive, nocturnal, and shy.   The captive animals above at center and at bottom were photographed in large enclosures at the Living Desert Reserve, near Palm Desert, California and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, Arizona.   An exception to the 'nocturnal and shy' rule occurs every so often: I photographed the wild female -- the grayish animal in most of these images -- in broad daylight in an open area on my University of California campus.   She was extremely relaxed, despite dozens of passers-by stopping to gawk, point, call their friends, shoot pictures on cell phones, etc. She even dozed off for a while, within 6 or 8 meters of a busy sidewalk and road.   Somewhat to my surprise, I had enough time to walk back to my office, collect camera gear, and return (which took 15 minutes), and then take upwards of 100 photographs.   The adult male bobcat at bottom right was photographed from my car, besides busy Highway 1 just north of Big Sur, California.   It basked in the sun and did a perfunctory stalk or two for about 15 minutes, largely oblivious of our presence (and that of several other cars that stopped to look).

  • Canon 10D, 1D Mk. II, ID3, or 1D4; 500 mm F4 IS lens or 800 mm IS lens, some with 1.4X or 2X converter (2003, 2004, 2008, 2011)