A man, a lynx, and a hare

I don’t think I’ve posted this 6-minute video before, but if I have, watch it again. It’s about an intrepid camerman (Sam Ellis), a wily and elusive lynx (Mad Max), and, after 76 days of tracking, how the cameraman got a fantastic video of a lynx chasing a snowshoe hare.

Note that the CBC’s title calls it a “Canadian lynx”, but it’s really a Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis). Like the Canada goose, people often get the name wrong. But how could the CBC err like that?

Note, too, that the bobcat, Lynx rufus, is also a lynx.

Finally, look at the size of those paws!


  1. Simon Hayward
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    If it’s in the Yukon doesn’t that make it a Canadian Canada Lynx? 🙂

    • merilee
      Posted February 14, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      And Sam’s a Canadian Cameramsn (who looks about 15).

      • Posted February 14, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        In the video Sam himself calls the lynx “a Canadian lynx”. The BBC just follows his lead.

        Here in Seattle our campus ia overrun by Canada Geese (Branta canadensis). Those flocks hang out on campus and nearby, and never migrate. So they are definitely Canada Geese but not “Canadian Geese”.

        • Achrachno
          Posted February 14, 2019 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

          But we should keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “correct” common name. Whatever common names are in use are correct for their users. Only scientific names are bound tightly to particular populations by rules, types, and such.

          If lots of people are saying Canadian lynx, then that’s OK. My old boss used to say “if you think you need a common name, make one up” — reflecting the fact that there are no restraints on common names, and that most organisms don’t have them anyway.

  2. Claudia Baker
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful animal. Poor little hare though.

    • merilee
      Posted February 14, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink


  3. Michael Waterhouse
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Great Pictures

  4. Heather Hastie
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely wonderful.

  5. Bob Bottemiller
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Anybody know what his camera outfit is? Also the drone’s and documentary cameraman’s?Beautiful, sharp images.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 15, 2019 at 12:45 am | Permalink

      You could ask Sam Ellis
      His contact details are on the “Contact” page of his Website

  6. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink


  7. BJ
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    This is SO COOL. Sam Ellis, if you read this, thank you for your hard work in capturing this footage! Remarkable.

  8. rickflick
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    As an amateur wildlife videographer myself, I can empathize with Sam Ellis. If you want decent footage, you often have to put in time and effort.

  9. f.catus
    Posted February 14, 2019 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    This is amazing. Though I am not quite sure about the trust relationship, I think it was habituation learning in action.

    • darrelle
      Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure there is a difference.

  10. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted February 15, 2019 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful kitteh!

    I wonder how long it will take for drones to reach the stage where they can replace the main camera. Obviously they would need a good collision-avoidance system. But they would have great advantages in keeping up with the subject and probably – as a small unknown object with no smell – be less alarming to wildlife than a cameraman.


    • Michael Fisher
      Posted February 15, 2019 at 2:19 am | Permalink

      See image below:

      LiquidPiston’s 40 HP diesel engine is on the right compared with a standard 40 HP diesel on the left. It’s an inverted, rotary, pistonless Wankel engine with only two moving parts & LP say it can be scaled down to iPhone size. Potential to be very quiet & able to loiter for hours unlike electric/battery. Has the ooomph to carry good comms, guidance/aiming systems & camera/mic

      In an efficient winged format [better than quadcopter] it could hold cam on a spot while being high enough not to be heard.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        Hmmm. Well, a Wankel (with counterweights) is in perfect balance so low-vibration, only big drawback is its atrocious combustion chamber shape, which makes for heavy consumption and high emissions. Which they seem to have overcome by making all combustion occur in a small pocket. Since the combustion volume is so small compared with the overall size, I think this would limit the power/weight ratio. But they claim to have overcome that.

        But, if it’s a diesel, it needs high-pressure fuel injection. So a bit more than two moving parts.

        As always with a Wankel, seals would be difficult and critical. And the smaller the engine, the more significant is any leakage.

        And also exhaust noise – regular Wankels are shatteringly noisy without big heavy silencers – probably because the exhaust port opens so quickly (my guess). Would this one be different?

        Let’s just say I’m sceptical.


        • Michael Fisher
          Posted February 15, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          You can hear it on youtube vids compared with other engines. It doesn’t have to be diesel – the one in the animation has spark plugs. Irrespective of power/weight & like nearly all IC engines it’s better ratio than electric battery.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted February 15, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

            I do agree that liquid fuel (gasoline, diesel) is probably unrivalled in its energy density and its convenience of use for medium-size purposes – such as cars.

            For very small power units, battery operation – which doesn’t require that anything be kept ‘right way up’ in storage or operation – wins out in convenience. Also, the smaller you make an IC engine, the greater is the problem of sealing, and of thermal losses to cylinder walls (and probably of frictional power losses too, as a percentage).


    • a-non
      Posted February 15, 2019 at 4:21 am | Permalink

      I haven’t seen a snowmobile version, but buggy things are quite widely used in drier climates — both for not spooking animals, and not getting eaten by them!


      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted February 15, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        I seem to recall seeing Beetlecam’s pics of lions featured on WEIT a while back.

        Not sure how a white tracked beetlecam would fare on snow. It would be interesting to find out, but probably much too slow for the present purpose. Where a drone would be good.


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