Sibling Belligerence

I’ve been following these two young male siblings since they first appeared on the scene a few months after they were born. They now are about 18 months old. I see them often together, either playing, hunting, or wandering around. Today they were in a field hunting when one rushed at the other and attempted to mount it. This behavior was clearly not welcome by the second coyote. There was even nipping — seldom have I seen this between these two. Twice the underdog began to hurry off with its ears laid back and head down, a sign of anger and discontent. This coyote took refuge in some bushes. But the first coyote continued its harassment. Finally the underdog increased the distance between himself and the other, and sat down. At this point the first coyote gave up and wandered off in the opposite direction, and the second one continued walking further away from the first.

“Getting away” seems to be a need I am seeing more frequently these days by one of the coyotes, whereas in the past these two always ran off happily together. I wonder if this is a trend or a prologue to what will happen next. I wonder how it will play out. Last year a pup left at 20 months of age. Is this the normal age at which dispersing occurs, and is this the kind of behavior which spurs the dispersal? Maybe we will find out.

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