Bay Nature: Coyotes Raising Kids in San Francisco

#68 BN6

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More Burying Behavior

Prey to be buried

Here you have a video, showing a coyote burying something from almost start to finish. I snapped the photo to the left immediately beforehand — it was twilight and I could barely see, but my camera did well. The photo shows the size of the prey the coyote is carrying.  It looks about the size of a gopher.

Then, under those extremely bad twilight lighting conditions I was able to video almost the entire sequence of the coyote burying his prey and covering up the evidence. The coyote began by poking his prey down into the ground as far as possible with his snout, and then used his snout to cover it up with leaves and debris. There was no “digging out a hole” beforehand in this case.

We have seen coyotes bury items for an apparent variety of reasons. Sometimes we’ve seen coyotes bury items they like to roll in: Burying Perfume Bottle or Another Burial. And, at other times, they bury prey that can be consumed later: Buried Rabbit Found or A Burial: Coyote Behavior. The absolute best observation was by a contributor, Heather, who saw a coyote bury a rock! Burying a rock.

Burying the Perfume ‘Bottle’ for Later Use

This fellow was trekking along in a park when he pulled off to the side of the path to examine something. He must have been drawn by the intense smell. He picked it up, moved it a few inches to a more appropriate/accessible place, rolled on it, picked it up again, carried it off about ten feet and then buried it. The above photos show the “find”, “rolling on”, and “carrying the item for burial”.

Below I caught the end part of the burying on video. When I got home I was able to see from my zoomed-in photos that the object of interest was a tiny mole. It had been dead already when the coyote picked it up — there was no killing as I watched. I actually went back to see if I could find the little deceased critter. Even though I had photos to guide me to the exact location, I could not re-locate the animal. Of course, the coyote will have no trouble at all re-locating it — by scent — when he wants another perfume bath!