Chewing A Bush

This coyote had just fled from a dog and walker when I took the first photo — it had run to this location where it stopped and sat down, I think it stopped here by pure chance. I thought to myself, “I’ll have to move, there is a branch in the way”. But then, the coyote started chewing on the branch, so I did not move. It chewed pretty intently and I watched. Then, it stopped and looked intently off to the side. A second coyote appeared slowly from where this coyote was now looking, intruding on whatever pleasure the first coyote had found. Maybe it was trying to figure out what was so much fun.  As the first coyote watched, this second one went straight to the same branch and sniffed it.

This behavior may have revealed a hierarch. The first coyote watched intently at first, and then turned its gaze away. But when the second coyote finally moved between the first fella and his branch, the first guy flinched and snapped — I was able to see the bared teeth. The first coyote then continued moving forwards whereupon the second one followed, as if he had been cued to do so. But first, guy who came in later, the second fella, backed up a little in order to try biting the bush for himself before moving on: “I wonder what is so neat about this branch?” Mmmmm.

So the second coyote may have been either “herding” the first one to move on and then “trying” the branch as it did so. Or, it may have come over with the intention of taking over what the first coyote was doing. In both cases the second coyote seemed to be displaying some dominance. In both cases, the second coyote was calling the shots, unless, of course, the first coyote had engaged in the chewing with the intent of luring the other one over. It’s fun to speculate.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s