Bobcats in our backyard

By Jeff Insel

Three years ago next week we had some nice monsoon weather, rain in the morning. My dining window faces my backyard and the neighbor’s wall to the east. While having my morning tea and reading the paper I caught some movement in my peripheral vision and to my surprise a bobcat was on the neighboring wall looking into our yard. She then jumped into our yard (we have lots of bunnies, rock squirrels, doves and quail) to look for breakfast.

Bobcat on hunt
Bobcat under cholla

I watched mom at work, and while she was hunting I saw more movement at the wall, first one kitten made its way onto the wall, then a second and then a third! This was a major surprise – and it gets better!

Wet kitten on the go
Bobcat kitten

Over the next four hours – yes, four hours – I kept an eye out and took my camera and tripod outside to capture these furry creatures, playing on the wall and in the neighbor’s palo verde tree. The kittens were curious about me and I never got closer than about 15 feet to them with the camera & tripod, or with mom when she returned (without any breakfast). Better than being at the zoo!

Kitten rests in tree
Three wet kittens

We get a fair amount of local wildlife in our yard – coyotes, bobcats, javelinas, Harris’s hawks, great horned owls – but this experience throughout the whole morning was the best.

Jeff Insel is a Photo Guide for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes.