Happiness is Having Someone to Watch Out For

Basking in the sun

This coyote seems to be extra happy these days as seen here on a very sunny morning! First she lay down and basked quietly in the sun for a while, and then as seen in the photos below, she ever so joyfully twisted and turned, contorted and wiggled, and rolled and slithered all over the place, giving herself a wonderful all-over body scratch and massage. She exuded joy. Maybe she was thinking about the new development in her life, which she would reveal to us a couple of days later!

Two days later I saw and heard a new behavior for her. She had been hunting but suddenly stopped short and began howling in front of a man who abruptly appeared, as if he were the cause somehow. She had never howled at a human before. I wondered what kind of dog the man had, but as he walked on, I could see that he had none. She had only ever howled at sirens and dogs who have chased her; and when she had a companion long ago, she would howl to communicate, but she didn’t have a companion now. . . (or did she?)

(note that the high pitched vocalization is the coyote; the barks are a neighbor’s dog)

After a moment of howling which you can hear in the recording above, she trotted briskly and purposefully up the road and away. I could see that the man had nothing to do with her howling. Within five minutes she had returned over the crest of the hill, and there by her side was . . . . a companion coyote! It became obvious now that her howl had been a response to this other coyote whose vocalization we had not heard.

She appeared to be as smitten with him as she had been with a previous young fellow visitor (a 1½ year old) who had spent four months with her. This new fellow, again, is a younger guy, maybe even younger than the last fellow. Has she become a “yearling caregiver” for dispersing coyote youngsters? I had actually witnessed that previous youngster being forcefully kicked out of his home by his siblings in a fight — that’s how I knew he was dispersing — and then shortly thereafter appear in this loner’s territory, where he was wholeheartedly welcomed. Has this new fellow been welcomed as a kid or as a mate? Only time will tell. Whatever the case, the loner seems super-happy to have him there! A companion to care for!

I should mention that I have seen another male youngster in a similar situation with an older female — he eventually became the reigning male mate. We’ll have to see what happens here. Anyway: Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Him” in the upper left corner, and then the two of them, with her being as solicitous and affectionate towards him as possible.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hilary Cole
    Feb 14, 2020 @ 07:56:29

    Hi Janet…

    What truly fascinating animals they are.. 😀 They have so much character and certainly express their feelings 100%. She’s obviously extremely pleased and happy to have her guest there, for the time being anyway. As she’s a loner, it would be nice for her to find a mate, and be a family.. Mind you, she mightn’t want a mate around for too long.. 😃 Look forward to your next article, and finding out what happens next with these two…

    Thanks .. Hilary 💕🦋


    • yipps:janetkessler
      Feb 14, 2020 @ 10:04:16

      Hi Hilary — Yes, they are truly fascinating! This one in particular is super-expressive of her feelings — some are much more deadpan. By the way, when they do pair-up, they do so for life, so we’ll just have to wait and see if this is such a bond.

    • Hilary Cole
      Feb 14, 2020 @ 10:13:17

      Yes wouldn’t it be beautiful .. I know they are mates for life, like so many other species .. Hope they stay safe 🥰

      Hilary … 😊🦋💕

    • kerry bostrom
      Feb 14, 2020 @ 15:26:23

      Janet, amazing documentation. Was man sitting? That was a fantastic encounter. The coyote not threatened by the man, the man not threatened by the coyote. What a great experience for all concerned. Excellent job!

    • yipps:janetkessler
      Feb 14, 2020 @ 17:42:38

      Actually, neither human nor coyote should be allowing the other any kind of proximity. You might read the posting about becoming an ambassador — it explains the reasoning.

  2. MelindaH.
    Feb 14, 2020 @ 17:13:30

    I LOVE this story. I am smiling from ear to ear. Thank you!


  3. Mark Warner
    Feb 27, 2020 @ 20:39:33

    So happy she found another friend.


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