Greetings and Sniffing Behavior

Greetings always occur when coyotes from the same family come together, even after only a short time of separation — say, less than an hour!! Today, there were these normal greetings, and then this group sat on the path, as if allowing me time to look at them. I was impressed with the sniffing today — there is always something that stands out when I observe coyotes. On this day, I caught the mother sniffing at the young male’s genital area. I have seen this behavior a number of times recently. I wonder what it means? The young males are about a year and a half old, and this may be a time when sexual maturity is setting in and possibly causing some changes in hormones and oder?

The coyotes soon got up and moved on. Sniffing of another sort continued when the group reached a spot much further down the path. I knew what this was about because only five days before, I had seen a raccoon right in this spot — one of the few spots where its passageway was visible. It must have been hurrying home after a night checking out the garbage cans on the streets!  I knew the coyotes were onto the same scent. After “getting” what the scent was, they ran over to what they (and I) knew to be another section of the raccoon path. After having collected the information, scent, they needed, they ran down to a thicket area where I could no longer see them.

Soon, I was proven correct. Although, because of the density of the grown, I could not see anything, I could hear the hissing and growling of the raccoon. This didn’t go on for too long before I again saw a coyote resting on a hilltop. The coyote would not have been there had there been a successful capturing of a raccoon. So, more than anything else, there was drama this morning. Raccoons are very good fighters: fierce and strong. And raccoons can climb trees beyond 75 feet, whereas a coyote is limited in its ability to climb perpendicularly!

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