Monday, April 26, 2010

Portraits of a Bobcat at Hagerman NWR

By Skeeter and Marolyn Lasuzzo

In general, things are very slow at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge early in April. We are waiting for the buntings to arrive, along with other birds. We have not seen very many owls yet this year. This time last year we had found four owl nests and three hawk nests. So far this year we have seen one owl but have not found a nest yet.

On a visit to the Refuge earlier this month, we were able to see a bobcat. He crossed the road in front of us in an area where we have seen cats before. We tried to predict where he might come out of the woods, went to that spot and waited...and waited... and waited. Then, as we started the car and prepared to leave, there he was, right where we had predicted, just well camouflaged.

As the bobcat started to run, I made a cat sound and the bobcat stopped in his tracks and turned and watched us. We were able to photograph him for about 30 minutes - unheard of for wild bobcats. We have used this technique on several occasions. As you can tell from the images, he was relaxed and at ease with us.

By the way, you can see the bobcat sitting on pipe in the second image. These pipes carry oil from a number of wells in the area to a main gathering point. We might think that drilling for hydrocarbons ruins the environment for wildlife, but it appears that animals have an amazing ability to adapt.

For more information about Hagerman NWR, see, and to learn about programs and activities at the Refuge, see

Photos by Skeeter and Marolyn Lasuzzo.

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