This coyote had been resting ever so calmly and peacefully when suddenly he started flinching erratically. This must be where the definition of being “bugged” or having “ants in your pants” comes from. Size had nothing to do with who won this bout of antagonistic behavior! It was the coyote who fled!
16 Aug 2014 1 Comment
Coyote news stories tend to be based on negative “incidents” — either a dog disappears, or someone has spotted a Coyote crossing the street where they think there should not be one. Newspapers thrive on controversy and sensationalism, and this kind of story fills the bill. But there is Coyote news out there which is positive, interesting, useful and newsworthy, too!
To continue reading and see the photos, just click on the thumbnail image to the left. It is a two-page photo-essay on coyote family life which can be read in the current Wildcare Magazine, Autumn, 2014.
What an honor to have my work — two articles and a bunch of photos — featured in WildCare Magazine’s Autumn, 2014 issue, including the photo on the magazine cover! To look through the entire magazine, click on the image to the right. To donate to WildCare, please press here.
04 Aug 2014 1 Comment
In order to reach more folks, we are expanding our educational and informational efforts about coyotes and coexistence through various forms of art and cultural events. Here is our latest! Thank you all “Coexisters” at CoyoteCoexistence.com, and Sandra and Mike at the Mask Theater!
Gateway Performance Productions, a mask and theater group in Atlanta, has teamed up with us at CoyoteCoexistence.com to promote awareness and understanding of urban coyotes and how to live cooperatively with them in Atlanta and beyond.
Their production, Call of the Coyote, with coyote host Michael Hickey, is a short outdoors performance that includes audience interaction, storytelling and music. Educational information flyers about coyotes is provided by CoyoteCoexistence for distribution at the performance.
Call of the Coyote premiered this past Saturday, July 26, 2014 at the Freedom Farmers’ Market at the Carter Center in Atlanta and returns to the Market on Saturday, September 27th, 2014 with rotating performances from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.
If you’re interested in scheduling a performance for your farmers market, festival or other event in the Atlanta area – please contact Cathy Hudson at Coyote Coexistence – email@example.com or Sandra Hughes at Gateway Performance Productions – firstname.lastname@example.org
[This program - a community partnership between Gateway Performance Productions and Coyote Coexistence - is made possible in part by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, the Fulton County Commissioners with the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council, Power2Give and individual contributors.] Reposted from CoyoteCoexistence.com with permission.
30 Jul 2014 Leave a comment
Cute gophers are part of the food chain of life. When you think about it, it’s really weird: species eat each other up. We all need the energy from the sun to live, but only plants can eat sunlight — no animals can do this. So some animals eat plants to get this energy and other animals eat those animals, and on it goes up the food chain.
Well, anyway, here’s a cute little gopher. Until eaten, it lives its life mostly underground, digging tunnels and grabbing plants.
HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT THEM:
They get their name, pocket gopher, from their fur-lined cheek pouches, or pockets which they use to carry food. The pockets on a gopher open on the outside and turn inside out for emptying and cleaning.
Adults are 8 inches long, including their 2-inch tail. The males are larger and can weigh up to 2.2 pounds — double the weight of females. They live from one to three years, with most of the population being young adults.
Gophers are vegetarians. They eat roots, trees, shrubs, grass and plants they encounter while digging underground, and they eat the leaves and stems of plants around their tunnel entrances, sometimes pulling entire plants into their tunnels. Gophers are able to obtain enough moisture from their food, so they don’t need a source of open water.
They build intricate underground tunnel systems using their front legs and long teeth to push dirt out of their tunnels. Gophers like to be alone and only one gopher will be found in a tunnel system.
For their tunneling lifestyle, they are equipped with large-clawed front paws, small eyes and ears, and sensitive whiskers that assist with movement in the dark. Their sparsely haired tails—which also serve as a sensory mechanism—help gophers run backward almost as fast as they can run forward. Their large front teeth are used to loosen soil and rocks while digging, and to cut roots.
Gophers can move about a ton of soil to the surface each year! Their tunnels are built and extended, then gradually fill up with soil as they are abandoned.
They benefit the areas where they live, increasing soil fertility by mixing plant material and fecal wastes into the soil, by aerating or tilling the soil with their tunneling activity, which also brings minerals up to the soils surface, and they serve as food for a variety of animals including owls, coyotes, weasels, and snakes. They prevent erosion because their burrows hold water from heavy rains instead of it running over the surface.
They breed in the springtime, producing one litter of 3-7 pups per year. The nesting chamber is about 10 inches in diameter lined with dried vegetation. The young leave after 5-6 weeks, wandering off above ground to form their own territories. Densities range from 2 to 20 gophers per acre depending on food availability.
Many mammals, large birds, and snakes eat gophers and depend on their tunnels to create safer living conditions. Salamanders, toads, and other creatures seeking cool, moist conditions take refuge in unoccupied gopher burrows. Lizards use abandoned gopher burrows for quick escape cover.
Gophers are captured at their burrow entrances by pets, coyotes, foxes and bobcats. They are cornered IN their burrows by badgers, weasels, skunks, and snakes. They are captured above ground by raptors.