I forgot to post this two weeks ago, so I’m posting it now — oops!
During pupping season, in a family where I know there are pups, I wouldn’t expect caught prey to be buried. I would expect everything would be eaten or taken to the growing pups. Nevertheless, that’s what happened here. In fact, Dad Coyote carried the food to a great hiding spot in some bushes, but apparently didn’t like that spot, so he carried it off this time to some barren dirt. Maybe that first location would not do for his purposes. What was his purpose?
At about 7 weeks of age, pups are still being milk fed, but they are also receiving regurgitated food — baby food — from the parents.
Maybe there’s an overabundance of food around? Or maybe the prey was buried in an “easy to find” location — bare dirt — so that it will be easy to find by a youngster when they begin learning to hunt for themselves? Then again, maybe the coyote was burying it for himself for a rainy day? But, wouldn’t he have left it in the better, more discrete hiding spot had that been his purpose?
Anyway, today, also, I watched this blue jay fly back and forth with a large peanut in its beak. Was it feeding its young? Then it landed not far off from me. The bird explored the top of that bush before finding the perfect spot to stash its treasure. The peanut was wedged in, somehow, and, after a final inspection, the bird took off. I wonder if the peanut was wedged securely or if it fell to the ground? I should have checked. It is nesting season for birds, too, at this time of year. But, instead of being used to feed youngsters, it, too was “buried”. Was it “buried” for the same reason the coyote had buried his prey?
My dog used to bury bones and then forget about them — it must have been a case of instincts gone awry. She would walk to a spot, looking around to make sure no one was watching. If you were watching, she would go off a little further. She didn’t want anyone to see or know where she was burying it. I’ve seen coyotes look around as they buried, as if to make sure no one was watching them. After all, you might hurry over to the spot and unbury it. Only in this case, after seeing me, the coyote continued to bury! It was a coyote I watch often. Maybe I don’t count?!