Two-month old pups are still being sequestered and kept as secrets by their very protective parents. At least this is their aim. How successful they are in our urban communities often depends on just how secret a place they were able to find for their dens.
I’ve made it a policy not to seek out dens or visit more secluded areas in parks, out of respect for our coyotes’ needs. They really want to be left alone. However, I have a couple of field cameras placed at the periphery of such areas in a couple of our parks. I was able to capture my first images of youngsters and mom, trekking home from what must have been one of their first substantial outings at twilight, when most humans and their dogs have gone in for the evening! This fella, above, is three months old. Note the characteristic coyote marking already appears across his upper back!
But I also saw one young coyote puppy exploring on his own — Mom was nowhere in sight: “Wow, look what’s out here beyond my den site!” Mom probably wouldn’t have allowed it had she known about it! Parents may not have total control — same as in our human families. And youngsters will be youngsters!
Still, parents try their best to keep pups in line and to protect them from any possible harm. This morning I watched a mother coyote follow two dogs closely. She hurried in their direction as they walked through some of her critical territory. They had come too close to her den site, unbeknownst to the dogs and owners: parent coyotes will put themselves out to protect their young, as will most species. The owners were alert and aware and reacted well. One yelled “Get outa here!” and the other tossed a small pebble — and these walkers proceeded walking AWAY from the coyote. In both cases, the mother coyote fled. She needed to let the dogs know that she was around and that they better behave themselves!