“Its a Great Life”

Injured Coyote given aid by Arizona golfer?  What’s wrong with this picture? EVERYTHING!  It is good to render aid to sick and injured animals but there must be a point where the professionals are called.  The Coyote pictured does not appear to be injured.  In the above story nothing is said by those on the site of the Coyote encounter about calling the authorities for help.  The Coyote in the video is obviously not afraid of humans.  The golfers attempt to give the Coyote a drink of water.  But wait folks, this encounter with the Coyote takes place on a golf course!  SO – how much water is used on a golf course?  A lot, a whole lot of water is required to keep golf courses lush and green!  How many golf courses contain water hazards? Most every golf course I have been fortunate enough to play has had a water hazard.  Granted, many courses in the southwestern United States only have water hazards when it rains.  None-the-less, golf course water sprinklers provide moisture to birds / animals living on a golf course with far more water then those located in urban or rural lands!  Yes, that includes those golf courses using re-cycled sewage water as well.  What is the significance of a close encounter with a Coyote by two golfers at mid-day?

It is not just a close encounter with a Coyote on a golf course, it is the multiple reports of close encounters with Coyotes at all times of the day through out the United States!  From Auburn Hills Michigan to San Francisco California Coyotes are growing bolder by the day!  Coyotes do not typically approach humans, they are by nature shy and reserved only coming out to hunt for food or water.  That is until Coyotes encounter charitable, well meaning but badly misguided humans such as the hiker in San Francisco. This author has read and examined interactions between humans and wild life in excess of twenty plus years. In almost every case human intervention with wildlife ends badly!  In many cases wildlife suffers more often then humans during and following interventions.  Many cases of humans finding “lost” fawns or bear cubs end with the young animal having to be placed in captivity or at the very worst and as in many cases, euthanized.  Regardless, imagine the plight of the mother having lost its child.  Wildlife mothers find very quickly that loosing infants is a part of their environment- that is the way of nature.  Feeding an animal is worse on so many levels – processed food is not part of any animals diet.  Leaving food out is akin to entrapment.  The animal soon becomes accustomed to having its food provided and looses its desire to fend.  Why work if the food is there every day and its free?

Coyotes learned a long time ago to be stealthy in order to survive other predators. Coyotes used to fear humans and stayed out of sight using stealth to its advantage.  Now the Coyote no longer relies on stealth around humans. The Coyote’s survival instincts have been altered, they no longer have to fear humans – they have become emboldened by humans providing food! Automobiles are just another stampede to circumvent. Coyotes have learned to cross busy roads to obtain the free food left out by humans.  Is it a great life or what?

Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam

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Today and always

This weekend started out like most Saturday’s do, turn on the coffee maker and retrieve the paper from our front drive.  Only this morning was a bit different. While opening the paper and looking down the hill I spotted a Coyote.  Spotting a Coyote around here is not uncommon but to see one not skulking along the fence line or amongst the tall weeds is different.  There is a game trail just off our back fence where the Coyote Cam sets specifically to photograph the coyotes (other critters as well).  Now to be honest, there have not been many Coyote (let alone other animals) being photographed in the last few months.

Coyotes were only found in the southwest early on in our country’s history.  Today, Coyotes are found from coast to coast and as far north as Alaska and as far south as Honduras in Central America.  Their territories have expanded because of the animal’s ability to thrive in adverse conditions!  No other predator has expanded its territory like the Coyote.  Their dens have been found under stadium parking lots, they have been photographed crossing busy intersections and walking across frozen bays. coyote crossing frozen bay

How does the Coyote survive in these conditions? Why was a Coyote spotted out in the open just down the hill from my home?

Human acceptance of the Coyote in our environment has made the Coyote unafraid of us. As our country expanded from the colonies to where it is today, we have built up to and into previous rural and undeveloped lands.  The desire to go from point a to point b requires that we build four (maybe six) lane highways to get us ever more quickly to our destinations.  Wild life is being forced into an ever decreasing areas with limited food sources.  Wild life has found that humans are not necessarily good neighbors and all but the Coyote continues to flee in the face of the onslaught.  Back when the Coyote was found only in the southwest it was not the alpha predator.  Wolves were the primary canines.  For clarity here it should be noted that Wolves are strictly carnivores whereas Coyotes vary their diets relying on small animals for their protein substituting berries and seeds at other times.  Wolves prayed on Coyotes when ever large game were not readily available.  Mountain Lions hunted the Coyote and bears would kill the unwary Coyote whenever the opportunity arose.  The Coyote soon acquired stealth as part of their survival techniques.  These days and with the large predator’s numbers greatly reduced the Coyote has no enemies and less reason to remain unseen.  Humans supply food and shelter and the Coyotes take advantage of the freebies!  Is life good or what?

Drawing to a close this issue will again repeat the mantra of a Coyote free neighborhood.

  1. If you feed your pets outside make sure to clean up. No food bowls left outside! Food debris is picked up and placed in garbage containers.
  2. Garbage containers are securely latched!
  3. Bird feeders are checked daily removing any seed from the ground. Fallen seed draws mice, rats and squirrels which in turn is the magic buffet Coyotes enjoy!
  4. Check the wood pile to ensure there aren’t rodents or Coyotes living inside.
  5. Get rid of any structure that might provide a Coyote den.
  6. Check the neighborhood and eliminate any draw a Coyote would find useable! That median in the middle of the street can house Coyotes given ample foliage like trees and shrubs.

Stay tuned – There is more to come on the Coyote Cam.

As the summer gets hot

Vacation went a lot longer then expected, glad to be home! We will get back on track this month hopefully.  However, a review of the past two months Coyote news seems relatively quiet.  A few articles from random community news outlets continue to report chance encounters on the urban front and thankfully, none reported attacks on humans.  On the other hand, pets continue to be victims of Coyotes.  It would appear small pets are more likely to be attacked then their larger cousins.

On the rural side of the fence recent Coyote studies are producing some pretty astounding data. Common knowledge of Coyotes suggest they roam frequently and widely but one study revealed a Coyote had traveled 80 plus miles possibly in search of new territory.  The following link talks about the Coyote whose nickname is the “Interstate Traveler.”  The article includes all the “Dos” and Don’ts” found in this and past issues of the Coyote Cam.  The well written article also reinforces the fact that Coyotes originated in the southwest of the United States and what we see today are the progeny of those original predators.  I highly encourage all to a take a look at that article.

Recent construction projects directly next door and in the streets has apparently scared away many of the nightly denizens, haven’t seen a trace of Coyote in several weeks.  The Rio Grande River is at its highest 10 year levels so vegetation is growing nicely holding small game and water fowl to that immediate vicinity. Rabbits are no longer as plentiful around the neighborhood as they used to be so that Coyote draw is no longer active.  Water, food and shelter are at the top of the Coyote’s list which may be the reason they are staying closer to the river instead of nearby neighborhoods.  However, one never knows when the Coyote is going to be active as was demonstrated this past weekend.  A local realtor likes to put on neighborhood yard sales this time each year so my wife and I decided it would be a good time to see our neighbors.  As we walked past an arroyo/street crossing we knew something had darted behind us but didn’t stop to investigate.  An oncoming family pointed to a large bush we had just passed and said they had seen a Coyote run out of the bush just as we passed it.  That was interesting in that a Coyote would be this close with all the commotion of the construction and elevated amount of traffic due to the yard sales going on.  One never knows!

Well here we are folks more then half way through 2017, still a lot of hot weather ahead of us across the country. Sadly the wild fires are eating up the countryside and along with the loss of animals is the destruction of homes.  Take some time to look at your surroundings to know which way to escape should fire come your way.

Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam!

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