So I was able to clearly see the reason why a particular coyote has felt a need to monitor groups of dogs. These dogs are walked unleashed and have chased the coyotes a number of times. The cause for monitoring is clearly revealed in the photos — mostly by the direction in which the coyote’s attention is riveted as seen by where she looked. The reason for the monitoring was to protect this little guy, a nine-month old, seen here in the first photo. On this particular day, this young fellow appeared on a path and watched the group of dogs and walkers approaching from the distance. It was the same group of dogs I spoke about in my previous posting yesterday: Purposeful Monitoring of Particular Dog Groups, posted on January 28th.
After figuring out that the dogs were coming its way, the fella took off up a hill. At that very same moment, down the hill ran his protector, his mother. She went over to a high ledge from where the path that the dogs were on could easily be seen. The mother coyote remained here, watching, as the group meandered around and finally left the area — she was making sure they didn’t come after her pup or her. She occasionally looked up the hill to where the pup was, and then she watched it as it headed “home.” This entire sequence can be seen very clearly in the photos I took this day.
The coyote’s watchfulness lasted about half an hour. After that she relaxed and even closed her eyes at times. She remained in the same spot until some people came too close for comfort. At that point she got up and trotted away. The coyotes in our parks have always kept their distance from people.