Monday, September 19, 2016

Little Coyote Moves In

“I’d be using my rifle,” the vet said. “Once a coyote gets comfortable in your yard … the next thing you know, your chihuahua will disappear.”
A young coyote has been frequenting our yard so it is apparently time to get a territorial dog to warn it off. The search has extended to Facebook, animal shelters and veterinary clinics. 
Ducky Doodle doesn’t get out of our sight, but things could happen fast. We’d also like our barn cat not to become coyote food. We’re fond of the rabbit that appears in the yard too.
Still, there is part of me that is thrilled to spot the coyote when I step outside, or to see it heading away from me, down the driveway. I've been concerned that it isn't much more than a pup, just a half-pint, and maybe it is orphaned or lost. One night it sat crying just beyond our living room window, sounding alone and lonely. I did some internet research and found that coyote pups often leave their mothers in August, so maybe this is normal. 
Ducky did chase it off one day and it ran, but one day it might not, and it did no good for me to run after the two of them, calling for Ducky to come back. He ignored me in his excitement. 
There is a mature row of tall lilacs right off our step, and behind them are a couple crabapple trees and then another row of elms and poplars. We think the coyote is eating the crabapples that have fallen on the ground, as it seems to come and go from that area. The other day it must have heard me come out the door, and I saw it leave the yard by going along one side of the barn and toward the pasture.
I followed to see how far it would go.
Not far. It was laying just west of the barn, watching me, and the cattle were unconcerned. Obviously they're used to this little one. 

I advanced with my camera and the young coyote got up and made its way slowly down the fenceline, stopping every few feet to look back at me.

No doubt I'm being foolish, but I'm friendly toward the little beast and pleased every time I see it. If it's necessary, I'd far rather a dog push it out of the yard than to kill it "just in case."

From Wikipedia:
"Coyotes may occasionally form mutualistic relationships with American badgers, assisting each other in digging up rodent prey. The relationship between the two species may occasionally border on apparent friendship, as some coyotes have been observed laying their heads on their badger companions or licking their faces without protest. The amicable interactions between coyotes and badgers were known to pre-Columbian civilizations, as shown on a Mexican jar dated to 1250–1300 CE depicting the relationship between the two."

Believe it, or not? Not sure I do. Wikipedia is famous for its misinformation.