Life Mammal

Saturday I went on an Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society field trip led by Rich Page to Ogier Ponds. Along with numerous birds, I picked up my first ever live Bobcat:


I got one other life mammal Saturday, the California Ground Squirrel:

Two California Ground Squirrels on runway

I noticed this wasn’t the usual Grey Squirrel I see back East from the behavior. These were hanging out in a wide open field by the model airplane runway acting like no squirrels I’ve ever seen. In fact, they were acting more like prairie dogs or meerkats than squirrels.


Thinking about it, I suspect this wasn’t actually my first Bobcat. I think I saw one at Fort Tilden in Queens a year or two ago.

3 Responses to “Life Mammal”

  1. John Cowan Says:

    Not surprising. California ground squirrels belong to Spermophilus (seed- not sperm-lovers, I hasten to add) rather than Sciurus. Both these genera, like Cynomys (prairie dogs) are part of Sciuridae, but “squirrel-like” behavior is specific to Sciurus and Tamisciurus (red squirrels). As for meerkats, they are Carnivora, and presumably represent convergent evolution.

    (Interesting taxonomic botch: according to some the California Ground Squirrel is Spermophilus beecheyi, whereas the Beechey Ground Squirrel is Spermophilus beldingi, which other sources call the Belding Ground Squirrel. One wonders. Still, it’s not as annoying as the name of the Tokay Gecko, Gekko gecko.)

  2. John Cowan Says:

    Arrgh. This site needs a preview.

  3. Mokka mit Schlag » #336-338 at Ogier Ponds Says:

    […] At this point, the weather was spitting and dripping and threatening to pour so I pulled out my poncho. Trip leader Rich Page had arrived and the gate had been opened so I drove my rental car in to the meeting point. Rich found some Common Mergansers and Bufflehead on the first pond. I was afraid the rain was going to cancel the trip so I did a little solo birding down the road where I found the first Red-shouldered Hawk of the day. heading the other way down the road I found my first ever wild Bobcat. […]

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