“Solitary Hunting”, by Charles Wood

I didn’t see who killed the bird yet it is clearly being eaten by a young coyote.  Several contentious hawks were flying over the field and one may have ceded its kill to the coyote.  The coyote was too engrossed in dining to notice me until I began to use flash.  Then it hid briefly only to return to its meal.  Most of the bird was consumed and I was tempted to enter the field and identify it from what remained.  Yet I wasn’t interested enough to brave an encounter with Dad at dusk in his field.

As I walked towards the street to the north, I heard Dad’s antics close to the chain link fence that separates the river bed from their field.  My dog, Holtz, was leashed yet still managed to charge the fence.  Dad stood his ground while Holtz repeatedly barked at him.  Dad did not vocalize.  I quickly reigned in Holtz and quieted him down.  In late dusk I use a flashlight to aid my camera’s autofocus.  Lit, Dad decided to continue on his way.  I last saw him headed north.  I went to the bridge to look south for Dad.  I didn’t see him or any of the other coyotes.

Back at the river bed I conversed with a homeless man while continuing to watch for coyotes.  None showed and on my walk back to my car I did not hear yipping as I had the night before.

It seems to me that although Dad still displays dissatisfaction at my presence, he isn’t as driven to chase me off.  I’m inclined to attribute his less aggressive displays to the fact that his family has grown in stature, independence and wariness.  They are young coyotes now, no longer pups.

Posting written by Charles Wood. Visit Charles Wood’s website for these and more coyote photos: Charles Wood. His work is copyrighted and may only be used with his explicit permission.

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