Territorial Messages, by Charles Wood

Dad came part way out to my dog Holtz and me to defecate. He scraped dirt unenthusiastically and walked away. His message said, in a word, “Mine.” He chose to walk towards us using an access road, that choice also showing his low interest level in us today. It wasn’t the direct route to us.

The second half of the video shows Dad a little later, a bit further away and closer to the fence bordering his field. His barks are a territorial message. I’ve rarely seen him barking out his claim to the field. Considering his lackluster performance earlier, I’m puzzled as to why he felt that he needed to vocalize. It didn’t last long and when done he walked away. No other coyote answered his barks. Perhaps his pack understood that Dad was not talking to them.

I then went to the bridge hoping for a pack reunion and giving Dad more space. Once there I didn’t see Dad or other coyotes. I packed to leave and saw a homeless man, Larry, coming towards me from the east part of the field. Arriving, he asked me if I had just seen “…that coyote run off?” I hadn’t. Dad had been watching me and I hadn’t seen him. Larry walking nearby was enough to push Dad back. Unenergetic today, but not a slacker, Dad had been on watch duty the whole time.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara Knupp
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 13:47:12

    Now that’s really telling you who owns that space! We have a long white rock driveway and periodically we find coyote scat deposited on the further end of it. Scat is occasionally found on farm paths and I once watched from the window as one turned his leg up on a large hay bale just outside the farm. Of course coyotes are determined that we won’t see them – just their scat. Thus they love our corn and soybean fields in summer.


  2. Charles Wood
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 21:02:04

    Simple and direct, that’s Dad!


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