Mom’s Mistake, by Charles Wood

In Los Angeles county this week I saw Mom a few times and also a couple of the yearlings.  Thursday Mom came under the bridge headed south into her field, having come from the nature preserve.  She paused when she heard my camera’s shutter.  It took her about a minute to go hide and watch.  The nape of her neck:  looks like mange, something I haven’t seen on her before.

Tonight, Saturday, she was headed in the opposite direction, coming from the south headed north toward the nature preserve.  Alerted, she stopped to hide and watch.  My friend Lynne was with me.  When Mom hid I knew the show was over because Mom sits and watches for as long as I stay.  So I left for the car.  Lynne followed initially and then stopped as I continued toward the car.  The show wasn’t over, though it took me leaving to get Mom to move again.  Mom headed for the bridge to pass north into the nature preserve, yet she didn’t because Mom finally saw Lynne hadn’t continued to follow me.  Consequently, Mom walked towards Lynne and then stopped to stare at her, a chain link fence between them and separated by about sixty feet.  Lynne left and presumably Mom went into the nature preserve.

That was the first time I have been aware of Mom making a mistake.  Apparently she thought bothhumans had left, freeing her to resume her walk north.  Nevertheless, Mom recovered quickly from her misperception and proceeded to successfully move Lynne along.

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
    Jul 18, 2011 @ 01:38:39

    I have wondered at some similar coyote behavior. I, too, have noted that coyotes sometimes think “danger” has passed, when it has not. I have also seen a coyote being suddenly startled from a relaxed position close to a path when someone it didn’t hear suddenly is right there. Why had the coyote not heard it and been ready? I have only seen this a few times, but I wondered why their guard is relaxed sometimes.


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