Two Young Coyotes Play

For half an hour I watched two young coyotes playing. When I first saw them, they appeared to be “wrestling”, but I was too far away for taking photos when I first sighted them. When I got close enough to take photos — never close enough for really clear photos, but at least you can tell what is going on — the coyotes stopped their activity, sat down and watched me. Soon they were playing again. There was lots of following one another and watching each other. There was lots of body contact and being next to one another and climbing over each other.

There was a “toy” — I could not tell exactly what it was: either a dead vole or a glob of hair or a small piece of wood. This toy was tossed, from a mouth, high up in the air with a flick of the head, and then it was leaped for. Later, one coyote held the toy in its mouth while the other watched, totally absorbed visually with the activity. The coyotes looked at each other often, eye to eye. They touched snouts.  One opened its snout right around the other’s, or reached to touch the other’s from below. There was running towards each other, and leaping through the low growth until one followed the other out of my sight for the day. I noticed that there was a hierarchy: it was always the same coyote that was sitting, or crouched, or below the other.

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