Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nature Notes: Coyote Snow


Just when I thought I had run out of things to talk about for Nature Notes, this shows up. A coyote, A.K.A. prairie wolf, is suddenly hunting in my back yard every day, making the rounds from the woods to the pond to the pasture.

It comes alarmingly close to the house, and doesn't seem fearful at all about being so near people. They say coyotes will not attack anything larger than they are, but this guy is still intimidating. He's almost as big as a German Shepherd, and those eyes do not look friendly.

Above is a video of the coyote hunting a mouse in the pasture. Coyotes apparently eat a LOT of mice, and help keep down their numbers. It was pretty far away, so you'll see the action better if you click the lower right corner of the video to make it bigger. We were listening to Prairie Home Companion at the time, in case you're wondering what the background music is.

Coyote Snow

He looks kinda cute with snow on his nose, doesn't he? And he's wearing a gorgeous fur coat.

There's a sense of both awe and fear, seeing something so wild and dangerous just outside. I am thrilled to be living where such a thing can be. But I am also pretty happy about having good sturdy doors between us.

Click here to see more Nature Notes.


squirrel said...

Beautiful animal! I have heard that they are in my area but I haven't seen one yet. Good job grabbing that camera before it was out of site.
Happy Holiday

Sallyacious said...

He is beautiful.

Once again, I find myself thanking whoever needs to hear it that I did not end up in this lifetime as a mouse. They seem to have the worst experiences.

ramblingwoods said...

I couldn't get the video to load, but I love the photos. I've only seen a coyote here once..so I am sure they are here somewhere. I didn't know that they ate rodents though...Thank you for posting to Nature Notes...Michelle

Anonymous said...

I. Cannot. Believe. You. Got. Those. Photos!!!

That is amazing! What a beauty!

MyMaracas said...

Squirrel, it was lucky. He hung around for quite a while that day. Happy Holiday to you, too!

Sally, he is a handsome devil. And you do have to wonder what the great Almighty has against mice, dontcha.

Michelle, it's my first time with Flickr video. Sorry you had trouble with it. If anyone else has issues, please let me know?

Smallpines, Thanks! I only wish I had a better camera. This was shot through a screened window with maximum zoom, then cropped from a larger photo. The quality is poor, but I was happy with the captures anyway.

Anonymous said...

Lovely creature - but I don't think I would want it in my back garden!!

Carver said...

What a beautiful animal. Great nature notes post. I'd be the same way about wanting a sturdy door. Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Johnny Nutcase said...

That's great you were able to get such good shots of him, and the video is fun too :) He looks pretty healthy for sure, and pretty cute too. Great entry! and thanks for checking out my blog !

Leora said...

Wow - and you even have it on video. Coyotes are animals I get to see in the movies or read about in books.

MyMaracas said...

Frayed, I agree. There's a little too much "wild" in the wildlife these days.

Carver, thanks - and Happy Holidays to you too!

Johnny, I wish you could see that fur for real. The photo doesn't do it justice. Unfortunately, coyotes are trapped for their pelts around here.

Leora, I had never seen one until we moved out here. I was mistaking smaller ones for foxes at first.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful animal! I love the video, he reminds me of my dog Loki who does the same type of jump when he "plays" with toads in my garden. I always suspected Loki was not 100% dog [from his smell, his guttural sounds, playfulness, and more], but I think some fox is also in him [ see him here http://milepebbles.blogspot.com/2009/12/its-not-fox.html. ]
Thanks for stopping by my other blog and commenting on "nest". :-)

Stine in Ontario said...

Interesting post. We can hear coyotes howling at night but so far have never seen them.

Merry Christmas!

Greenearth said...

What amazing photos. So pleased you were able to get your camera and share such precious moments.

NicoleB said...

I didn't know they get THAT big!
Wish we had Coyotes in Hungary.
There's a LOT of mice, sigh.
Lovely shots of this Beauty!

Morgaine said...

Wonderful shots! I have seen one running through a field as I was traveling down a road in Idaho.
Such strong powerful looking creatures.

David C. said...

I saw one in our yard a few years ago, but could get pictures as nice as yours. He can eat all the mice he wants. Those little varmints creep me out.

Boomer Pie said...

Just discovered your site. I signed up to follow. Perhaps you'll reciprocate. We have coyotes in our back yard and we live in a metropolitan city...in Michigan.

MyMaracas said...

Marina - you're right. I checked out your blog, and he does look like a little fox!

Stine, I have seen them but never heard them. I don't think I want to... they sound creepy on TV.

Greenearth, thanks - and welcome!

Nicole, be careful what you wish for. Coyotes can be big trouble if you have small pets. Or livestock. Or chickens.

Morgaine, they are beautiful. Have to give them that.

David, I'm not sure which creeps me out more, though, the mice or the coyote.

Boomer Pie, welcome! And thanks for the Follow. These critters are apparently becoming almost as much a part of the suburban landscape as raccoons. Not good.