Saturday, May 4, 2013

Canada lynx catches snowshoe hare

Big lynx freezes in position
The cat crouches down and slowly eases forward
With 10 yards to go the lynx springs into action

Snowshoe hare's kicks are futile
Lynx hauls its catch, which drags on the snow, back into the bush
I just took these shots of a Canada lynx catching a snowshoe hare.
Although this has been the longest winter in memory, it has been the greatest for spotting lynx.
I have lost track of how many I've seen this winter and spring, certainly more than in the rest of my years put together. To watch a lynx stalk and kill a hare and even get some of it on camera is unbelievable.
This was a big lynx, perhaps 40 pounds. He was hunting along the edge of the clearing around our home in Nolalu, ON, near Thunder Bay. As you can see, there is still a lot of snow here, the results of a two-foot dump of the stuff two weeks ago.
Suddenly the lynx froze in mid-step. It didn't move a muscle for probably five minutes. It must have spotted the snowshoe hare or "rabbit" which was nibbling the bark off branches of a quaking aspen tree I had cut down. The hare was about 20 yards away.
The lynx eventually crept closer and with about 10 yards to go, burst into high gear. It easily got the hare which didn't even seem to notice the cat until it was nearly on top of it.
The lynx held the hare in its mouth, pinning it against the ground until it quit kicking, then hauled it back into the bush.
The whole episode probably took 10 minutes.
The late snow probably worked against the hare's natural defence. It had already started to turn brown for the summer and it contrasted against the white snow.
For more lynx, see Canada Lynx Families, Ghost of the WoodsLynx FamilyLynx Tracks.
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Kim Gross said...


Great pictures! I need a lynx to take care of the rabbits that eat my flowers and Hostas.

Anonymous said...

amazing shots! I have long hoped to see a lynx in the wild!