Are Mother And Son Becoming A Pair?

I have been watching the development of a coyote family for several years now. Twenty-one-month-old male sibling pups have led an idyllic existence in an urban park. The hunting of gophers and voles has been good, most dogs are kept away from them, people who see them are thrilled to do so. These siblings have progressed from mutually playful and mutually adoring best-friends, through sibling rivalry which ultimately has created a divide between them.

The rivalry has established who is higher on the hierarchy and who is subservient. I’ve been told that each of these fellows “chose” his position. There was never an all-out battle to see who would be tops, rather the positions have more to do with force of personality and strength of will. The subservient fellow, although still in the vicinity, spends more and more of his time alone now. He has always been the fun-loving one who started most of the play sessions that I witnessed. But over time, beginning this fall, his solicitations to play were answered with more and more bullying and dominance by his sibling, until now there are no more such solicitations. When the dominant sibling approaches, this more subservient fellow is apt to run off or bravely look away and then run off.

Now, I often see the mom and the dominant sibling together — and I get a different feeling about them than previously, almost as if they have become a “pair.”  For one thing, the male has a fullness which I had not noticed before, which may be contributing to why I sense this. Of course, maybe this isn’t going on at all. However, I’ve been impressed with this possibility for several weeks now and I want to keep it in mind as a likelihood. We’ll have to see.

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