2009/02/19

Coyotes on Sturgeon Bank

Here are some of the things that I observed today while out biking.

Why does this Red-winged Blackbird like to pull the fluffs off the female part of the cattail? Looking for nest-building material or food?

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Came across this Great Blue Heron perched on a raptor's perch. Must be a nice resting place with a good view of the ground below.

And I also saw Coyotes today!!! First time seeing them on Sturgeon Bank. The sub-species found here on Lulu Island is the Mountain Coyote (Canis latrans lestes). More information about them is described by Huckleberry Days here. There were four individuals (in two pairs of twos) observed . They were travelling from south to north. I didn't follow them all the way, although they were quite oblivious of the dogs, walkers, and bikers (especially the two individuals that were closer to the trail), and vice versa. Except for yours truly - otherwise I couldn't tell you what I saw.

These two were further away from me.

Coyote (Canis latrans)
This young-looking coyote seemed to be infected with the mange mite (explained by Rock Paper Lizard here), causing itch and loss of hair in infected areas (as seen with the furless tail).

However, this young coyote is also quite playful, and I watched it bounce several times when it is on the hunt for mice or voles. It even got a successful snack once. Yum. The other individual is quite healthy looking, but it might not be long before it is fully infected with the mite as well. Sad.

Coyote (Canis latrans)
Deep down they are just like dogs (or vice versa), and butt-smelling is very important for canine communication.

Then it was time for me to head home. Before that, I saw this cool-looking young Bald Eagle with only a stripe of brown across its eyes. Cool, dude.
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2 comments:

Huckleberry said...

Love your coyote photos!What a great sequence. Have you seen them out there in other years?

PSYL said...

From what I know, there are some Coyotes living in the Terra Nova old field (beside the golf course with the pond in the middle).

Wednesday was the first time I have seen them wandering on Sturgeon Bank. Where they are going, I am not sure. I was very excited to see them, as you can tell.

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