Sometimes I like posting about something different than coyotes. I found a tiny little Bushtit — 3.5 inches from tip of the beak to tip of the tail — searching for, finding, and testing building materials for it’s nest. The materials did not pass muster, and were abandoned. Birds have very high standards for their young.
21 Mar 2013 Leave a Comment
We have a National Poison Prevention Week the third week in March of each year to increase awareness and prevent human poisonings. I am reminded of this by the WildCare Newsletter.
National Poison Prevention Week serves as a reminder to all of us that animals, too, are being poisoned all the time. It is the young animals which are most vulnerable — just like with humans. Below is a link to the WildCare page on what is happening to wildlife because of the rat poisons which humans use.
Let’s stop using poisons to kill any animals. There are other solutions, including high pitch beepers, which will disperse unwanted animals non-lethally. Please visit the link below and consider making a donation to WildCare.
22 Feb 2013 3 Comments
In August of 2012 I went on a trip with my girlfriend to McCall, Idaho. We did a lot of hiking through the lush forests, and being aware there were wolves around was a very humbling and exciting experience. Although we didn’t see any wolves on our trip, our last morning hike ended when we stumbled upon a freshly killed deer. The sight was both amazing and terrifying. Knowing wolves and other animals come back for their kills to snack upon, we turned around and cautiously walked back to our cabin.
When we returned home to the San Francisco Bay Area, I was obsessed with wolves, but soon realized I wouldn’t have any chance to see them in their natural habitat anytime soon. A few days later I came across a story about coyotes living in San Francisco’s, Golden Gate Park. I was quickly intrigued and woke up at 4am the next morning to drive to San Francisco to get my first look at a wild coyote. I stayed in San Francisco all day but didn’t see any coyotes, but heard one yapping later that afternoon in the park as I walked back to my car.
Since then I have been exploring the Nature Preserves up and down the San Francisco Bay Area. After a couple months searching for coyotes, I came across my first one in Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto, CA. We both stopped and stared at each other for a good two minutes before the animal continued on it’s way and I headed home.
Since then I have been hooked on coyotes and wildlife in general. I go out to the Preserves 2-3 times times per week with my trusty camera and take all the photos and videos I can gather of anything from hummingbirds, to deer, to coyotes, and everything else in between.
When I started my journey to find a coyote, I went to the preserves almost every day for three months but never saw a single coyote. It was easy to think I would never see one, yet I stayed persistent. It almost feels as if it were a test. If I really wanted to see a coyote, I had to work for it. I had to gain some sort of trust from the wilderness and coyotes before they revealed themselves to me, because after I saw my first coyote, I quickly saw another, and another. Now I see coyotes almost every time I go out into nature, and it is a rewarding, exhilarating experience which makes my day, every time I see one.
For more of Kevin’s photography, please visit his site: http://kshoban.tumblr.com/
02 Feb 2013 16 Comments
Please sign the petition to stop the wanton slaughter of coyotes at the Coyote Hunting Contest for Modoc County, CA which is scheduled to begin February 8 through February 10, 2013. Press HERE to sign.
You and thousands of other people signed petitions speaking out against “Coyote Drive 2013,” a coyote killing contest in Modoc County, California.
Despite our efforts, however, the hunt went forward. We do not yet know how many coyotes were killed.
This “contest” was not only cruel, it was also futile and counter-productive. Scientific evidence shows that culling coyotes often has the opposite effect from the one intended.
After hunters finish their shooting, coyote populations adjust. More females will mate, and they’ll have larger litters. And more pups survive. Killing coyotes only breeds more coyotes.
20 Dec 2012 1 Comment
Since this story has repercussions for our coyotes, I’m including it here.
A Great Horned owl pair has raised their owlets every year for the past 13 years in the same crook of a Eucalyptus tree. A couple of years ago I spent every day documenting the growth of that year’s clutch: Owl Family With Triplets Grows Up.
Sadly, a month ago an owl carcass was found close to the Eucalyptus tree. It would have been a member of the same family we’ve all been observing and that I had documented: owls are territorial — this territory belongs to those owls.
Since we were all so fond of the owls, park goers contributed to have a necropsy performed. There was the possibility that the death could have resulted from old age, or avian flu. We were more concerned that it might have been the result of the large amounts of pesticides/herbicides used to eliminate non-native plants in the park — a park which calls itself a “natural area” but is not so at all. We’ve been trying to stop the use of these toxins for a long time, but without success. We received the results of the necropsy this week: the owl had died of rat poisoning. There may have been other toxins in the bird, but the carcass was only analyzed for rat poisoning.
Ours was Great Horned Owl Patient #1709, accepted at WildCare on November 8, to determine the cause of death. They found that this owl had been exposed to rat poisons — as have 74% of animals admitted to the facility this year. It was found to be well nourished, but it was internally toxic, discolored and hemorrhaged throughout: it had died of “presumptive AR intoxication”, anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning. So it had eaten poisoned rodents. Great Horned owls consume about five medium sized rodents a day, which amounts to about 10% of their body weight a day. When they are raising their young, they eat substantially more than this.
Rodenticides kill by causing an animal to bleed to death internally. It is a slow and painful death. The animal’s activity is slowed down, and it becomes easy prey for one of our animals higher up the food chain: owls, hawks, raccoons, or coyotes. And so, the poisons get passed along.
Please, let’s protect our remaining owls, and the other wildlife in our parks, including coyotes. Please don’t use rat poisons in your households.
15 Dec 2012 Leave a Comment
These two members of a coyote family headed into a forested area to avoid encountering a dog. The forest serves as a protective passageway because it is dense enough for coyotes not to be detected. It looked as though they were out on a morning trek together. I’ve seen them stick together during several hours of trekking. But the trekking plan this time was cut short when they happened upon two juvenile squirrels quarreling in the middle of the path rather than paying attention to their surroundings. One of the coyotes dashed after them and caught one.
The 2nd coyote watched the capture, but stayed behind: trekking activity is shared, but food is not. The coyote with the squirrel eyed the 2nd coyote and squinted — there was a message in that gaze. He scurried off to a hidden location. The 2nd coyote watched him disappear from sight and then turned around, lay down, and waited.
She waited and waited. She put her head down sometimes, she watched some walkers through the dense trees, she sprinted to a close-by tree to avoid detection by a dog and lay down there, and she kept looking towards the spot where the other coyote had disappeared. After a while I left to see if the 1st coyote might still be close by. He was a mere 50 feet away — just far enough away to be out of sight from the 2nd coyote, where he consumed the entire squirrel over a period of about 8 minutes. He then walked away, leaving the area and the other coyote behind.
I returned to watch the 2nd coyote — she was still waiting. She waited another 30 minutes, moving about 75 feet once to a spot where she continued to wait. Finally, she got up and slowly walked to the spot where the first coyote had eaten. She sniffed and stared at the ground there for four minutes. She must have known this was the eating spot — I wondered what kind of scents she was gathering. Finally she walked on, seeming to follow the scent of the first. I lost her in some dense brush.
The initial “togetherness” of the pair was broken when food became involved. More than likely the second coyote eventually caught up with the first one, but it’s possible that there might have been no further trekking together on this morning.
02 Dec 2012 3 Comments
The American Museum of Natural History in NYC publishes monthly Science Bulletins which include their Bio Diversity News. This is their monthly video program exploring the diversity of life on earth and our human footprint on the biosphere. This month’s story is about a study on behavioral adaptions in coyotes inhabiting urban environments. Coyote Yipps is included — what an honor! To see more of their videos check out this link: http://www.amnh.org/explore/science-bulletins/(watch)/bio/news/urban-coyotes-mate-for-life.
Here is the video, “Urban Coyotes Mate For Life”.
28 Jul 2012 1 Comment
Occasionally I like posting interesting behaviors of other animals. Someone emailed these photos to me. What’s that on the dam wall? Look closely! It’s one of those things you have to see to believe.
25 Mar 2012 Leave a Comment
This fellow was out in the driving rain, and thoroughly drenched. Note that he’s almost trying to “duck” the rain as he walks. He kept looking up at it, licking drops off his mouth, blinking the water out of his eyes, shaking himself, and lifted legs high to walk through the very soaked ground. The coyote was obviously soaked through and through.
I’ve seen coyotes at other times who are not at all bothered by the rain — they’ll actually hunker down on a hill during a heavy rain and remain there for some time, watching whatever is happening in the distance. And I’ve seen them hunting nonchalantly on a hillside in the rain. But today, this coyote looked and behaved as though the wet was not appreciated.
03 Mar 2012 Leave a Comment
Please sign the petition to preserve our urban forests and wildlife habitat in San Francisco. You may read the petition and sign at: http://signon.org/sign/stop-the-wasteful-destructio-1
27 Jan 2012 Leave a Comment
“Viewed at a magnification of over 250 times real life, tiny grains of sand are shown to be delicate, colorful structures as unique as snowflakes. When seen well beyond the limits of human eyesight, the miniature particles are exposed as fragments of crystals, spiral fragments of shells and crumbs of volcanic rock.”
Note that they are as individualistic and as interesting as people or coyotes if you’re willing to look hard enough!!
(posted with Dr. Gary Greenberg’s permission)
31 Dec 2011 1 Comment
Occasionally I like to post stories about different animals. Here is a deer story from Alaska. A Heart Warming and Amazing Rescue, in Sitka .. “a miracle of sorts”, the author says, “really!” This posting was sent as an email, making its rounds until it got to me. Here it is for everyone to enjoy.
The Best Day Of Fishing Ever!
I’ve heard of salmon jumping into boats, but never anything quite like this… Tom Satre told the Sitka Gazette that he was out with a charter group on his 62-foot fishing vessel when four juvenile black-tailed deer swam directly towards his boat.
I opened up my back gate and we helped the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals onto the boat.
In all my years of fishing, I’ve never seen anything quite like it!
Once onboard, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering.”
Once we reached the dock, the first buck that we had pulled from the water hopped onto the dock, looked back as if to say ‘thank you’ and disappeared into the forest.
This is me carrying the little guy.
My daughter, Anna, and son, Tim, helped the last buck to its feet. We didn’t know how long they had been in the icy waters or if there had been others who did not survive.
15 Nov 2011 Leave a Comment
A coyote stops at a log to scout for a possible meal. The scrutiny was intense and thorough, but yielded nothing! I didn’t start the video until most of the exploring was already over, but you can see from the stills I took before the video that the coyote was all over the log. I didn’t see any digging, just poking and sniffing, so I assume it was scent and not sound that drew the coyote to the log.
12 Nov 2011 2 Comments
Occasionally I’ll add a post about another animal, to add some variety to the blog. I was too late to catch two squirrels chasing each other around the tree trunk. It was a noisy and active chase, which is why I noticed them. By the time my camera was up, one squirrel had leaped to another tree — you can briefly glimpse him in the lower left-hand corner of the video. Meanwhile, this center-stage guy took a break from the play with a yawn and a stretch while hanging from his toenails — and he does it again a second time!