“Got Milk? Yes!” by Charles Wood

Mom

At twilight Monday I saw both parent coyotes who live with their two one-year old daughters in a small field that borders one of Los Angeles County’s concrete ‘rivers’.  The last time I saw one of the one-year old daughters was April 21 when she was with Dad.  I last saw the other daughter on March 30.  I hadn’t seen Mom since February 22.  It looks like she’s had a litter.  New puppies weren’t with Mom and Dad.  I assume they are still well hidden in their den.  I doubt the puppies were left in their den alone, but I don’t know for a fact that they weren’t.

Would the parents leave new puppies unsupervised and unprotected?  It’s likely the two daughters are still there even though I didn’t see them today.  It is surprising to me that the daughters are apparently able to help with newborns this soon and to this extent.  One of the daughters is bold, serious and fierce; the other:  not so much.  Instead she seems to be a coyote that has an eager, happy-go-lucky temperament and is more prone than the others to run and hide upon seeing me.  Are they both trusted nannies, or if just one, which?  There is a chance that the puppies are safe enough to be entirely unattended for a while.  I’m not able to know any of that for sure.

Last year I didn’t see puppies until the first week of June and it took two more weeks to get

Dad

a photograph of them.  From June to well into summer, Dad was the only adult coyote I saw attending to the puppies.

Note that Mom’s left ear is infected or has mites, is a source of discomfort, and may now have developed into cauliflower ear.  She nevertheless is taking care of business.  Dad is looking a bit thin to me.

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.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. yipps
    May 03, 2011 @ 11:12:06

    I wonder if Dad is so thin because he has been feeding Mom while she stayed in the den with the pups those first few weeks?

    Reply

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