Decompressing After A Day-Long Torrential Downpour

This coyote was working out all the kinks after a full day of non-stop heavy rain. I’ve seen coyotes out and about, rain or shine. Rain isn’t normally an impediment to their activity. But if you look at the last post, a coyote was out in the heavy rain and seemed not to be enjoying himself. This could be due to the heavy rain having lasted much too long: enough is enough! In this post, Coyote is taking care of all grooming that was neglected during the rain.

Soaked Through

This fellow was out in the driving rain, and thoroughly drenched. Note that he’s almost trying to “duck” the rain as he walks. He kept looking up at it, licking drops off his mouth, blinking the water out of his eyes, shaking himself, and lifted legs high to walk through the very soaked ground. The coyote was obviously soaked through and through.

I’ve seen coyotes at other times who are not at all bothered by the rain — they’ll actually hunker down on a hill during a heavy rain and remain there for some time, watching whatever is happening in the distance. And I’ve seen them hunting nonchalantly on a hillside in the rain. But today, this coyote looked and behaved as though the wet was not appreciated.

Curiously Following a Leashed Dog

This coyote has, twice now, casually, nonchalantly, but curiously and interestedly, followed this dog and walker. I’ve seen this behavior before with other dogs: the coyote seems to actually pick a particular dog and walker, and just saunters along behind — trailing at 50 to 100 feet —  and curiously watching: “What are you doing and where are you going?” When the walker stops or turns around to face the coyote, the coyote freezes in it’s tracks but does not flee, or it heads for some bushes but still watches.  When the walker and dog pick up again, the coyote lingers for a moment, but then carefully follows again. After several hundred feet the exercise peters out and the coyote ducks into the thicket and out of sight.

In this case here, the walker was charmed and amused by the coyote’s curiosity towards him. He had no problem with what was happening, but did keep turning around to make sure the coyote kept a safe distance away.

If you feel intimidated by this particular coyote behavior, or if a coyote gets too close, you need to let it know that you don’t like it around. You need to shoo it off and then keep moving on. The easiest way to shoo off a coyote is to face it and yell at it to go — do this in a manner that conveys that you really mean it.  Whispering “shoo” or waving your arms isn’t going to do a thing. An even better technique is to lean down as if to pick up a pebble — most coyotes know what this means. And if you need to, really pick up a pebble and toss it in the coyote’s direction (but never at the coyote). You have not accomplished anything unless you have caused the coyote to move off, so you need to persist until it does so.

Touching With A Paw

A paw is extended and placed on the object

Today I saw a coyote deliberately extend it’s paw and place it on an object in the road, as if trying to pick up information about it. I don’t know if the coyote was trying to “feel” it, or was sensing if it was alive, or possibly making sure it was dead, or what. But the coyote purposefully extended it’s paw and held it on top of the object for several seconds, as I’ve seen it do when it pinned down a vole once.

Habitat Issues: Forest Carbon 101

We need to preserve our thickets and forests not only as habitat for our wildlife, but also to offset human carbon production caused by modern urban living, particularly our cars. This video was created by the Nature Conservancy, one of the leading conservation agencies in the US.

In San Francisco, the plan is to cut down 18,500 trees in order to return the landscape to what it was in 1776. We have photos of it back then — the landscape consisted of sand dunes, and sparse dune plants. NAP has created this type of environment on Twin Peaks which, by the way, is sprayed with potent toxic pesticides every four months to keep it this way.

Most of us don’t want our parks turned into another Twin Peaks, nor maintained artificially in this manner. Please visit the San Francisco Forest Alliance which is trying to preserve our San Francisco forests and wildlife habitat: SFForest.Net. Get involved and sign the petition!!

Mom’s Achy Legs, by Charles Wood

Here in LA County on Wednesday I made a short video of Mom. She, like her mate, Dad, is showing some signs of age. She walked away from the camera to sit down and watch us. She moves slowly on stiff legs, like an arthritic aging dog. Never mind that! A busy pupping season awaits with her young one’s due in about two months.

When the Cats Are Away….

In each of the parks I frequent, I always see the same coyotes. These coyotes claim their territories, keeping other coyotes, for the most part, out. But the coyotes also engage in excursions to other areas, and I’m not sure what their claim is to these other areas — are they just interlopers?  When they make these excursions — and who knows what they go checking out or why — they are not at home to oversee their own territory. Hmmm….

So, today, the resident coyotes in one of the parks were gone. And…. the “intruder” took it upon herself to roam and explore their home territory in their absence. This is the most I’ve ever seen of her. She did a lot of sniffing and roaming, and she fled quickly from a couple of walkers who saw her. But, interestingly, although I found one small piece of scat on a trail before I became aware of her — and I have no idea if it was hers, I did not see this intruder coyote “mark” at all as she explored. Was she avoiding leaving her scent? Exploring coyote behavior is a voyage of discovery for me, too, and very fascinating!

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