Fleeing From Father

I’m trying to get a handle on a family where the youngster is never present. The parents’ daytime resting time is almost always in close proximity to each other, either in an open field or under cover of some forest edge habitat. Even when I can’t see them, I can tell they are fairly close together because when a siren whizzes by, they respond by yipping which reveals their proximate locations.

It’s hard to tell what’s going on with the youngster — and with the parental relationship with him — because I seldom see the youngster. Until today. Today I watched this youngster out in the unhidden open. What a rare treat! He did not immediately flee to the underbrush the minute he saw a person (me), but rather allowed me to spend time observing. He just sat there and looked around from his safe-zone in the far distance where I know he stays, but this time he wasn’t concealed behind bushes and thickets.

Soon he got up to go: he stretched and yawned, and obviously was at ease, even though a person was observing him. He looked at me, but basically went about his business. He casually walked off, and then started descending a hill when suddenly he stopped cold, did a quick about-face, and headed up the hill in a hurry, lickety-split. He stopped to look back once and then disappeared over the crest of the hill. I looked down the hill to find out what he might be running from and was surprised to see his father staring at him. Hmmm. Instead of running towards each other for a happy greeting, the youngster was running away with trepidation!

Father glaring over his shoulder, up the hill, at his youngster. Youngster hurries away.

Father glaring over his shoulder, up the hill, at his youngster. Youngster hurries away.

Had there been an altercation earlier? Might one of these coyotes have secretly taken and reburied a food cash that belonged to the other? Might there have been an issue with insubordination? Might lessons about territoriality and not crossing boundaries have been involved, or even safety issues about remaining away from dogs? Might the firm establishment of a hierarchical order be involved? Or, highly unlikely, might this have been the beginnings of an early dispersal process? I’ve never seen a coyote dispersed under one year of age here in San Francisco, but I’ve heard it alluded to. The bullying that precedes dispersal may go on for months before the youngster decides to take off for a better life elsewhere. I’m sad that I haven’t been able to see coyote family behaviors from this distant fella. We’ll see what happens.

She Watches Dogs Pass By Who in the Past Have Chased Her

noticing approaching dogs


to bark or not to bark — it’s a hard decision (video)


observing them carefully


happily, there’s no antagonistic activity this time; ho, hum


going, going, they’re GONE! — without incident!

This gal was in a field hunting when some late visitors to her park arrived with their dogs. Some of the dogs were leashed and some were not. Most unleashed dogs chase after coyotes, though some do not — they did not this time. Some of the dogs have chased her in the past and she remembers each and every chase and chaser. She waited, anticipating the worst, but it didn’t happen this time. On this day, coexistence worked really well here in San Francisco.

After the Lashing

A couple of days after I had videoed a mother coyote lashing out at one of her seven-month old pups — a female, I witnessed a change in behavior between two of the pups towards their mom. These are both females, though I have no idea if gender had anything to do with what I observed.

I watched as Mom came into a large field where three of her pups were absorbed in foraging in three different spots. All pups stopped their foraging activity immediately when they saw her. Two of the pups dashed like bullets across the field in her direction.

Male pup greets Mom enthusiastically

Male pup greets Mom enthusiastically

One of the pups that dashed in her direction, the male, went straight up to her, as always, to greet her, tail flailing with excitement. There were the usual kisses and wiggly little excited movements that indicate all is happy and well between them. He attempted getting food from her, but she had none to offer, and it didn’t really seem to matter.

A female pup heads into the bushes -- right past her Mother who is greeting her son

A female pup heads into the bushes, right past her Mom who is greeting her son [you can see pup’s back & tail at top of photo]

Interestingly, the second pup, a female, who had also headed in Mom’s direction, went straight past Mom — who was in the process of greeting the male pup — and into the bushes! She did not stop to participate in the happy greeting which I had always seen her do before. Hmmm. Was she afraid of the mother, having seen the harsh treatment dished out to the other daughter? This would be my guess. All of these are new behaviors, beginning with the lashings of the one daughter, and I can’t help  thinking that they are all related.

The seven-month old female pup who had been  the target of lashings by Mom

The seven-month old female pup who had been the target of lashings by Mom, watching

The female pup who had received the lashing did not head towards the mother coyote.  Even though she was a long distance away from where Mom entered the field, she ran into the bushes closest to her and hung out there, hidden, for a few minutes. Eventually she came out of her hiding place, sat down, and just watched from about 400 feet away — she had no interest in approaching her mother. She looked sad to me.

The mother looked at her for a moment, and eventually moved on and out of sight. Not until then did this daughter continue her foraging before heading into the bushes for the day. There is always communication when coyotes look at one another. I wonder what information their “look” conveyed.

Following Behavior: Territoriality, Curiosity, AND Evading

2013-04-20

A coyote may follow you and your dog — the dog is the issue — out of curiosity or to monitor it, the same way you yourself might follow a “suspect” prowling through your neighborhood, to find out where they were going and what they were doing.

If you find that you are being followed by a coyote, walk away from the coyote — and don’t run, running invites chasing. Keep aware of the coyote and shoo it off effectively if it gets too close, and move on. And keep your dog leashed. Pick up a small dog.

The leashing is to keep your dog from being distracted by the coyote and going after it. You want to avoid engagement between the two.

I’ve seen this same following-behavior used for a purpose totally different from either curiosity or monitoring. It was used effectively by a coyote to avoid detection, as a human and his dog passed by. The dog had a history of chasing the coyote, and the man had a history of pursuing the coyote aggressively with his camera.  So this coyote had a particular interest in avoiding this duo. The dog and person passed while the coyote stood absolutely still and remained hidden and undetected in a dark wooded area. Then, to my great surprise, the coyote came out of hiding and followed them at a close 30 feet. The coyote did so carefully, on high alert and prepared to bolt  if necessary. This went on for about 200 feet before the coyote veered off to where the brush picked up again and it could continue undetected through the bushes. Neither the man nor his dog ever looked back!

In this case, what seems to be going on is that, by following in the duo’s “wake”, the coyote was continuing to avoid detection. Animals and people tend to look around themselves, but much less frequently  directly in back of themselves. We all tend to concentrate on sounds, smells and sights which are in front of us or to the sides. Coyotes know this, and “follow” as a method to avoid being seen.

Following Mom, by Charles Wood

Pup1

Both photographs are of my LA county pup following Mom around. Both were alarmed when they saw my companions, another human and two good sized dogs, and me. Mom headed down the road and within a minute her puppy followed. The road offered us a clear view of them, but for only parts of the way because brush along the road at times concealed them from view. Soon both coyotes were hidden. Yet Mom could have immediately hid with her puppy in the brush. Why didn’t she? I think she had decided it was to her advantage to use the road strategically.

When Mom took to the road, I didn’t know if she intended to approach or avoid. I think she knew that by taking to the road, I wouldn’t know where she would end up or whether she intended to come towards me or intended to go away. All I would really know was that she was on the move.

PupMom

After dusk, Mom came out from hiding to sit and stare at us, her puppy still in the brush. A third coyote, Dad, came in and out of view near them. Together, Mom and Dad formed a stone wall against an intrusion. Then, apparently instantly oblivious to danger, the puppy decided to come out and join Mom. Mom got up and the puppy followed her back into the brush. The puppy is too young to know that Mom doesn’t want to play when actively guarding the family.

Posting written by Charles Wood. Visit Charles Wood’s website for more coyote photos: Charles Wood. His work is copyrighted and may only be used with his explicit permission.

Puppy Watch – No Sightings, by Charles Wood

Here in Los Angeles County my coyotes see me before I see them. Once I noticed Mom in the distance observing me. Once I looked up to see a yearling watching me. Dad also kept the pressure on me, seeing me first about every other day. I received their attention despite trying a new tactic.

Typically I walk east to get to watching places. Saturday I instead went north along the eastern boundary of my coyotes’ field. Along the east is a fenced off structure that has only a couple places where I can see into their field. Unfortunately, they too can see me.

I hoped they wouldn’t see me. As I happily walked, Holtz was ahead of me. Then he turned to come back. Immediately he started adversarially stalking towards something to my rear. Holtz’s head was slung low, protruding with his tough guy gaze fixed on the other side of the fence. I grabbed him and turned around. I expected to see a dog with a walker. I saw nothing. It must have been a coyote, no doubt one of mine that had been tailing us. Compared to a few months ago, my coyotes are visible and active.

Coyotes with puppies are more active for a couple of reasons. First, they are alert for interlopers. Coyotes hide and protect their young and are vigilant for all possible dangers. Also, they hunt more for having more mouths to feed. Fortunately for coyotes, nature provides them with more to hunt during spring.

This time of year, my coyotes’ rabbits also produce offspring. Controlling rabbit populations is an important coyote job. Young rabbits are easier to catch than adult rabbits, and I imagine that in good years there are lots of them for adult and child coyote alike. The richness of vegetation from good rains provides more cover for rabbit nests. Rabbit nests would be fairly easy for a foraging a coyote puppy to find all on its own. Yet the coyotes and other predators don’t find all the nests. One reason they don’t is that adult rabbits make themselves conspicuous this time of year, acting as fast running decoys that lead predators away from their nests. Dense ground cover with a bumper rabbit crop in their field is an excellent incentive for my coyotes to remain in their field.

A balance between predators and rabbits protects the field itself from a being overgrazed by rabbits. Fifteen years ago, when I would only see foxes, rabbits were a problem down river at Leisure World which suffered from a rabbit invasion. I suspect that since the coming of coyotes, that invasion silently went away along with the foxes.

Let’s Go a-Marking!

I watched a coyote pair as they made their “rounds” recently. The hour-long outing can best be characterized as: “Let’s go a-marking!”

Each coyote “outing” or “trekking expedition” has a different purpose, it seems. I’ve seen coyotes go hunting and go observing. This time, their purpose was definitely “let’s go a-marking.”

I came upon the pair early — curled up as little fur balls in an open field. They watched me but stayed where they were for about 5 minutes.

Then, one got up and trotted off. When he came to a rock, he climbed up to look back at the other coyote. She had not budged — maybe she wasn’t coming?  He continued down a trail. I noted where he went and returned to observe the female who had remained behind. She eventually got up and stretched — slowly and deliberately — and then disappeared down a ravine, where I could no longer see or follow her. She had not gone in the same direction that the first one went.

So I hurried along the trail taken by the first coyote, the male, and I caught up with him just as the female emerged from some bushes and  joined him. They came together in an area that was a congregating place for dogs. Both coyotes began meandering about, sniffing out the area and urinating/marking wherever they found  a smell, which was everywhere. Occasionally one would watch the other or they would look at each other: they were in sync about this purposeful “marking”.

When this job was completed, they looked at each other, reading each other’s cues, and then began trotting down a path away from the area. The coyotes had not gone far, when, over the crest of a hill, there appeared a runner with his small leashed dog. The coyotes quickly skedaddled off the path into hiding. The runner saw them and ignored them and continued his run. But the coyotes did not ignore him and his dog — they had been unexpectedly surprised by him. It seemed that now they wanted to be more careful, so they watched. They also, repeatedly, exchanged glances with each other — this is their way of communicating and gathering as much information about how the other was reacting to the situation. And then they moved to an even more hidden area behind bushes where they sat or lay down for a while. Not until ten minutes had elapsed did they slowly venture back to the dog area. The male coyote was bolder than the female about this. He went first, sniffed around and urinated some more, this time on a tennis ball. The female then descended from her hiding place and did the same.

Slowly the duo moved in a new direction, up a hill with no path. They kept looking at each other — they were constantly in tune to the subtle cues of danger or boldness from the other. Again, the male went first. The female followed, stopping for a sip of water on the way. While up on the hillside another walker with an unleashed dog began walking by. The owner saw the coyotes and leashed his dog immediately. The coyotes were far enough away so that they did not flee, but they stood very still and watched quietly until the dog and walker had moved on. They then continued their trek up the hill. One of them headed to a high rock for a sweeping look around. The female went to a much lower rock where she curled up comfortably to watch the activity below. There was almost no activity.

This inactivity didn’t last long because another unexpected runner, no dog this time, came around a bend close enough to make the coyotes bolt up and run off, out of view. The runner was pleased to have seen them — excited that she had seen two coyotes. When she was out of sight, both coyotes reappeared, began sniffing and urinating as before, and then continued their trek up the hill until a large group of dogs and walkers could be seen approaching in the distance. The female disappeared into the brush quickly, but the male went up to a little knoll and sat down to watch this group from the distance. While he was there, he became distracted by a flower and ate it, all the time watching the dogs with their walkers who were also very interested in the coyote: there was mutual curiosity and respect.

When the coast had been clear for a while, this coyote descended the hill, and that is when the female reappeared and again joined him. They both sniffed and marked a number of times in various places. Sometimes the female would mark, and the male would immediately smell and mark the same spot right after her.

They continued their descent, stopping to view a few dog walkers in the far distance, and stopping to sniff and mark on their way. They ended their outing by heading into a thicket. I knew I would not see them any more that day.

Not Seen

For three full hours this coyote was able to avoid being seen by anyone at all except one man who said he thought he might have seen it, but wasn’t sure!  The coyote picked times to move around when there was little activity. When it heard or saw someone, it slipped casually into the bushes — there was no quick movement which might have drawn one’s attention to it, so people simply did not notice. When there were not enough bushes around to “slip into”, ducking casually behind one, so as to be partially hidden, worked. At one point, on parallel paths separated by greenery, the coyote simply stood absolutely still and watched, until the “danger” on the other parallel path had passed, and then continued on its slow trek. When it stopped to relax, it did so in tall grasses or against shrubbery or far enough away from the beaten path so as not to draw attention to itself. Most importantly, it moved slowly or stood absolutely still — walkers and runners would go by without noticing the coyote at all.

Of course, this is not always the case. Sometimes a coyote gets unlucky and is seen — and people like to tell others what they have seen so word spreads.  But also I have seen coyotes who allow themselves to be very conspicuous at times — seemingly on purpose. They do so most often by picking a dog-walking time for an excursion or to check things out. And then there is always the surprise encounter when someone suddenly appears on the path ahead. If there is a dog involved, a coyote will stop its activity and look at the dog until it passes, and then continue with whatever it had been doing and wherever it had been going.

Near Encounters

Here are two occurrences of near encounters in two different parks. In the top row of photos, a coyote was calmly wandering along when a man and his leashed puppy happily walk by on a nearby path. Neither of these took any notice at all of the coyote in the near distance. The coyote helped the situation by sitting absolutely still among the tall grasses in which he blended in well, while watching the duo walk by. After they had moved on, so did the coyote, ever so cautiously and silently and then keeping more to the edges of bushes and trees. Coyotes do their utmost to avoid humans.

In the bottom row of photos, is a coyote who emerged in a green area where its camouflage did not serve it well. There was a group of dog walkers and their small dogs coming its way. These walkers commented positively about seeing the coyote, happy to see wildlife in the area. Although the coyote stopped and watched them, it soon hurried on through the very unprotected open space at almost a run, stopping to sniff one spot — in clear view of all — before moving on. When it arrived at the end of the open field where there were some bushes and trees which offered some protection, the coyote turned around and sat to watch and see if anyone might be after him. No one was — all the dogs were leashed and calm  — so he continued on his trekking undisturbed. Although this coyote did not avoid detection, he did hurry through the area, minimizing the amount of time he was in anyone’s visual field.

What I have described here are coyotes trekking through an area as they hunt or head to a resting spot. They tend to be seen most often at much greater distances, perhaps as they rest and observe from hill slopes or knolls. The distance offers a kind of “buffer or safety zone” to both them and to those who observe them.

Hiding From Dogs and Walkers

This coyote spent part of a morning calmly hunting. The other task he set for himself was not to be noticed. He was very effective. To begin with, coyotes are well camouflaged — they blend in well to their surroundings. This coyote was good at keeping to the shadows where he was less conspicuous: he was actually out in the open where, if one had looked directly at him, he would have been seen. Whenever a passerby appeared, this coyote would stand very still, and afterwards moved very slowly, continuing his hunt. If anyone came up the path he was on, he would slither quietly under the nearby brush, and if there was a dog, he would distance himself even further by slithering under the bushes and then leaping beyond some hedges, and then, again, not moving at all, or moving very slowly. Out of 25 people who passed, one lone walker saw him on some steps. One leashed dog saw the coyote and got excited — unbeknownst to the owner. This dog had made it known to the coyote that it wanted to chase it, and the coyote picked up the message. Fortunately this dog was leashed. But it is from this dog that the coyote leaped beyond the hedges.

Coyotes Avoid People If Possible

I watched a coyote make its rounds to hunting areas in the morning. Of particular interest was the calmness and easiness with which a coyote did so, heading off in one direction, finishing there, and moving on to another one close by.  For the most part, whenever a person came along on a path, the coyote was able to “duck” out of the picture without ever being seen — even if the person had come quite close. If they can avoid it, coyotes would prefer not to be seen. They tend to go the other way if people are around.

But surprise encounters on a path do occur. Again, the coyotes have bound off when a walker has come too close, or it has meandered off slowly if the coyote first noticed the walker at a farther distance.

Yesterday I watched as a group of people saw a coyote come down a path. I’m sure both the group of people and the coyote were a bit surprised, but it was a calm, comfortable surprise. Yes, just like the rest of us, a coyote uses the trails because these are “the paths of least resistance!”  The people were all keenly interested in the coyote, but obviously they did not want to interfere with it, so they stopped and watched with their leashed dogs at the far end of the path. The coyote kept right on walking within about 100 feet of them, then stopped and turned back. But I was that same distance in back of the coyote. The coyote, all very calmly, turned and again walked towards the people for a few more paces and then veered off the path onto and down the grassy hillside . There was no skittishness or panicky activity in the coyote, just a matter-of-fact and calm dealing with what had been presented. The coyote had not acted “threatened”. Both coyote and people were very matter-of-fact about the encounter!

The Observed Coyote Becomes A Co-Observer!

Not only do I observe coyotes, but I also observe what interests coyotes. Of prime interest to them is the dogs in the parks. I watch for which dogs attract a coyote’s attention the most, and try to figure out why. There appears to be a vast difference between the way a mother/dominant coyote sees certain dogs as opposed to the way all the other coyotes see them.

So, a few days ago I watched a coyote youth stop to watch dogs between hunting bouts — it was very casual observation from off the trail — the dogs were on a path very far away and I could tell that none was aware of the coyote. Then, one dog I had not seen before caught my attention, so I went right up to the ledge and squatted down to observe, making myself very unobtrusive behind some plants.  The dog was about 400 feet away, so I pointed my camera, which serves as binoculars when I need it to, and observed this new dog and walker for a few moments. As I turned my head a little, I saw that the coyote had approached and was imitating me! It had come right to the ledge also, right behind some growth to watch what I was watching. We were both looking together!! He was curious. My own behavior was something it must have wanted to account for. The coyote wanted to know what I was doing, what had my attention. It had used my behavior as a cue as to where its own attention maybe should be focused. So we became co-observers for a few moments. When I stood up and faced the coyote, it bounded off again into the distance.

This same coyote has used the behavior of dogs and, now it seems, humans to gather information for itself. I saw this same coyote observe a dog as it dug furiously, at a gopher hole. When the dog departed, this coyote went up to the same spot to dig, taking the dog’s cue that something was there. It also has “looked up to” its mother and sibling for cues/clues about the danger of a situation. This coyote is a year-old juvenile, which may help explain its behavior a little bit: using indirect evidence for information.

I’m wondering if an aspect of a coyote’s “following” a dog and walker might include gathering information for the coyote’s use, such as “can you lead me to a food source?”

Coyote Ramblings: Hunting for Food and Watching

Here is a coyote rambling the morning away. The coyote was actually hunting: while I watched it, it caught two voles and made several unsuccessful attempts at catching others. This coyote kept fairly hidden as it hunted. Few people actually notice the coyotes in a park, and this seems to be how the coyotes want it. It wandered on a path, but mostly off of paths.  And it kept track of dogs being walked — it kept away from them all, just looking at them now and then from the distance.

THEN, the coyote saw a large dog begin digging intently. THIS was interesting to the coyote. The coyote actually approached a little as the dog was digging, but stayed far enough back so as not to be noticed. When the dog and owner moved off, the coyote looked around and then quickly went over to the digging spot. Here it sniffed intently and then began its own digging! I’m sure the coyote’s keen eyesight had picked up that the dog had left empty-handed. I found it fascinating that the coyote had used the dog’s digging as a clue for finding something! I watched the coyote dig here for seven minutes! In the end, there was no prize for the coyote, but for me, this was prize observation time!

Experts at Eluding Detection: Coyote behavior

I keep my eyes open for wildlife — this is where my focus is, so I have become pretty good at catching what someone else might miss. Today I spotted a coyote on a path — pretty visible right in the open — but it was gone in the blink of an eye. The minute it knew it had been seen, it immediately was absolutely and totally GONE. It had bounced, like a rabbit, into some underbrush, and although I thought I might be able to see it again, I did not. The day before I was able to make out two ears way up ahead on the horizon with the sun coming from that direction — visibility was bad. When I got there, no critter was to be seen anywhere until with much effort I was able to detect a slight movement off to the side. It was the coyote, well camouflaged behind some thorny underbrush. I had only an instant to look, before it was off and gone.

Coyotes are often not seen by walkers: they easily elude detection, even if you are looking for one. I have seen many walkers not see one that crossed very close in front of them! Of course, at other times you might see one wandering boldly on an open path, totally unconcerned, and it might turn around and examine you out of curiosity. Or you might see one surveying the area from a lookout. There are no generalities with coyotes.

Coyote Hours & Avoiding Humans

I’ve noticed that most coyotes tend to have their preferential times of day for their activity — this tends to be predominantly at dawn, dusk and night time. However, I have discovered that at least one coyote has been active at any hour of the day and at all hours of the night over time.  I’ve run into people who told me that they had heard this coyote at 7:30 pm, 9:00 pm and at midnight and 2 am and then at 5:00 am. I myself have heard it at 7:00 am and later in the morning. People have seen this coyote at dusk, in the late afternoon and in the early morning. I saw it recently right before noon — not just a glimpse of it, but I was able to keep track of it for close to an hour because it was out in the open. We all tend to believe that coyotes are nocturnal or dawn/dusk creatures — but this is not so.

So, before noon, I came around a bend to find a coyote standing on a slightly elevated area. The coyote looked around and then stretched as it walked down and over to a greener patch of ground. I successfully moved off to the side where my presence wouldn’t be an intrusion. The coyote climbed up onto a rock where it ate grass for about seven minutes, after first having wandered through this very grassy area to select where the grass was best. It seemed to carefully pick each blade, and seemingly savored each leaf.

When a couple of bikers became visible in the distance, the coyote stood very still and watched until the bikers could no longer be seen. The coyote also stood perfectly still as a runner ran by — probably within 100 feet of the coyote — the runner said hello to me but did not see the coyote. I seldom point out coyotes to others anymore, except if there are children or dogs involved. Right after this, a mom and her young child appeared on the scene. I knew this mother and child and pointed out the coyote to them. The coyote was right there in plain view and not far off. These new observers must have tipped the scale for the coyote after the bikers and the runner: the coyote now walked up and away. But I found the coyote again, resting in a secluded spot.

After about 20 minutes, the coyote stretched and scanned the area quickly before it began trekking back to where I had originally seen it. On its way, it stopped short and stood frozen and still. About 200 feet ahead, right on the coyote’s path, was someone practicing their Tai Chi Chuan. The coyote just stood frozen for a few seconds trying to figure this out, and then quickly descended a steep, pathless incline into an overgrown and secluded meadow area where it was all alone. The important point about all of this is that this coyote avoids people whenever it can. It might stand perfectly still if it thinks it will not be seen by a person who has suddenly appeared, but otherwise it moves away from people, and it does not move forward on a path if a person is up ahead.

I watched as the coyote hunted in this secluded area: it noticed stuff in the ground — I know not what, and it noticed birds in bushes, cocking its head with interest now and again. It ended up on a main path where a father and son were enjoying some time together perched high on a rock. I thought I should point the coyote out because of the child. These people, it turns out, live right on the park and know this coyote well. They and I watched and I took photos. The coyote checked out the trail ahead by climbing again to a lookout, and then wandered on, watching the ground for a possible meal and noticing bird movements in trees. The coyote continued walking on until it saw someone approaching on the path ahead with two large dogs. At this point the coyote slithered into a dense brush area and was gone from my view. The approaching walker and dogs never saw the coyote.

So, this coyote wants to stay away from people: it froze to avoid being detected by bicyclists and it did the same when a runner went by; it walked off when people approached, it checked out trails before taking them, descending into secluded or brushy areas when people were on the paths ahead. Only the two parents with kids noticed the coyote for a few brief moments. Although the coyote did pass towards the father and son, they were high on a rock and on a totally different “level” than the coyote. I have noticed that “levels” create an added degree of removal in the coyote’s and in human eyes.

This was the third day in a row that I had found this coyote in the same area at close to the same time, and it made me feel uneasy — a kind of fear for its safety. Although the coyote had been on a bluff overlooking what was below, at the same time it was right next to a path on the bluff which put it on the same level as walkers — not “one level removed”. The path is not heavily used, but on this last day there eventually were two bikers, a runner, a mom and son, myself, and someone practicing Tai Chi Chuan — all within less than an hour. On other paths, main paths, there was a dog walker with two dogs and a father-son. Again, this was right before noon.

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