Reader Barry called my attention to this video, which appeared on Robert Krulwich’s National Public Radio website. The conversation begins 33 seconds in, and I believe these are Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis).
Look at the size of those paws!
I looked up “lynx vocalizations” to find out why they sound like this. Apparently, explaining weird cat sounds is not yet a major scholarly pursuit. Mel and Fiona Sunquist, in their book Wild Cats of the World, say lynxes can “mew, spit, hiss and growl; they also yowl, chatter, wah-wah, gurgle, and purr.” But the Sunquists don’t say why. Another scholar, Gustav Peters, says lynx mating calls (Is that what we heard? Or was that just two lynxes yakking?) are “a series of intense mews.” Intense, for sure. Mews? Those lynxes weren’t mewing.
The lynx seem unperturbed by the light, which I find surprising.