More Stinky Activity

I don’t get the impression that coyotes go specifically looking for something stinky to wallow on. Instead, something they “happen upon” elicits this response in them.  And almost all of these “somethings” are dead animals. Lizards, snakes, voles, a skunk, or cooked fish bones tossed by a human.

This coyote was sitting, standing and walking about on a large rocky knoll, in the rain, and ducking off whenever a person approached up a nearby path. He was successful at not being detected by anyone. But one of these “duckings off” took him over to a rock with a dead snake on it. Ahh. This immediately caught his attention. More than likely, this coyote had left the snake there himself. Snakes are prey to a number of animals in the area:  hawks, owls, raccoons, skunks and even cats. Dogs, too, in their inquisitiveness and playfulness might grab a snake and kill it. Snakes are consumed by all of these creatures except the dogs, I think.

And, I have never seen a coyote eat a snake — nor lizards nor moles. That these animals are particularly smelly is an important factor. Coyotes use them to wallow on in order to absorb their odor. And this is what happened here, in the rain. I have not seen rain be much of a barrier to coyote activity of any kind, but this is the first time I’ve seen wallowing in the rain. I would have thought that the rain might have diluted the strong smell, and maybe it did, but the coyote couldn’t resist what he would have done had it not been raining.

The coyote lowered its neck and shoulder first and then rubbed itself on the snake by scooting over it. He got up and placed the snake in a better position, and then repeated what he had done before, starting with his neck and shoulder again. Before leaving, he marked the spot with urine, and then trotted off.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Daren R. Sefcik
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 02:34:12

    I remember one of my old dogs every time we would drive to Baja and camp there was a field where cattle grazed and he would always run over and roll around in the fresh cow dung.


    • yipps
      Mar 11, 2011 @ 03:32:08

      My dog, too, enjoyed “bathing” on horse manure a couple of times. I remember being stunned the first time I saw this. I thought she might have had some kind of mental slip-up or malfunction. It all stuck to her — she looked like a walking pile of it. When it happened a second time I realized this was a purposeful act of hers. Needless to say, we never went back. The smell is something they can’t resist.

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