I arrived at one of my parks earlier than I had anticipated. It was before dawn, but I didn’t want to wait in the car, so I headed into the park. A coyote was sleeping out in an open field — a mound of fur on the ground. She was really well camouflaged — I don’t think anyone else would have detected her there. I took out my camera to videotape the stillness — the video function works wonderfully in bad lighting. The coyote casually lifted her head and looked around, and then looked at me. She hadn’t had her fill of sleep: “Need more sleep.” Okay! She put her head back down, and I went on.
18 Dec 2011 1 Comment
22 May 2011 Leave a Comment
Most people never notice a coyote sleeping out in the open — after all, they blend in well with their surroundings, and, isn’t it just common sense that an animal would seek cover to sleep?
But coyotes have their own way of doing things. They are, in fact, protected in ways that matter to them. They never rest anywhere close to a path which people or dogs might frequent. A coyote always picks a safe spot, “far from the madding crowd.” These photos were taken with a powerful zoom lens. There are rock and poison oak barriers that prevent access to most dogs and people who might enter the area. Dogs and people are coyotes’ only enemies in an urban setting.
This coyote slept, but kept changing its position every so often, sticking it’s head up for a look around before sprawling out again to sleep. When dog activity in the distance pierced it’s quiet, the coyote sat up to watch sometimes, and ignored it at other times. Then, at a certain point, the coyote slowly got up, scratched itself, stretched, and wandered slowly over to a completely secluded spot under some bushes where he now could not be spotted at all. But, before moving on, two hours had elapsed sleeping in the open, in the sunshine.
31 Jul 2010 Leave a Comment
Earlier on, this coyote had been pursued by dogs. It is now resting here, hoping that by lying completely still, no human or dog will see it. In fact, no one did see it while it was here. When the coyote was ready to go, it got up, stretched, and trotted off.
15 Jul 2010 Leave a Comment
Several times I have watched a coyote settle down in a spot, look around, and finally curl up for some sleep, right in the open. It is not exactly in plain view since the coyote is so well camouflaged — it would be very hard to detect that a coyote were there if you had not seen it go there in the first place. However, a few days ago I actually discovered this coyote sprawled out asleep in the wide open. By zooming in with my lens, I could see that the coyote opened one eye and was aware of me from quite a distance, but it did not raise its head. It did not move at all! I’ve put three zooms in here to show how absolutely hidden the coyote is — but the coyote is there!!
28 Jun 2010 Leave a Comment
SLIDESHOW HAS 24 SLIDES
Here is hunting sequence. It began with two coyotes hunting right in the same spot, but one went off. The hunting session lasted about twenty minutes. Note that when the lone coyote stood still, which was not often, its tail swished slowly back and forth, back and forth, revealing the coyote’s excitement and tension. There was one pounce, but nothing was caught. In the end, the coyote curled up, right there in the open, right at the hunting spot, but at a considerable distance from any path, and fell asleep! Hunting might last awhile, as it did here, or, it could be totally effortless, lasting a mere split-second — as if the coyote had gone to the refrigerator and pulled out a coke!
In this instance, the coyote seemed to look directly at whatever he was after. But another technique the coyotes use is “triangulating”, where they will cock their heads from side to side for auditory signals which will tell them exactly where the prey is.
16 Jun 2010 Leave a Comment
Where do coyotes hunker down for their rest? It appears it is right under the open sky in plein air, and not necessarily in the bushes!! I followed a coyote for about ten minutes as it hunted, it moved on a little, it sat and watched, and then it moved on some more, repeating this sequence. I moved on, too, behind it. Then it sat down and glared at me a couple of times: “yea, what do you want.” I was getting ready to abandon the coyote when it moved one more time, so again, I peeked over at it. At this time of year the grasses are very tall and I could not see through them very well. However, I could barely discern that the coyote had stopped where another coyote was already lying down — I could just barely make out the ears. This second coyote did not get up. Instead, the first coyote lay down right beside the first!! My own wanderings and observations had obviously ended for that day!
I’ve heard that coyotes actually only use their dens for the first five weeks or so of life, and that slowly they move further and further off from the den area for resting. My thought is that, by varying resting and sleeping locations, the coyotes are actually keeping fleas from building up in an area. These coyotes do have fleas because I’ve consistently seen them scratch themselves.