Are you seeing more Coyotes (Canis latrans) lately? The reason may be because Coyotes are breeding. Mating season peaks in mid-February and at this time of year we often observe pairs. If you are seeing Coyotes in your neighborhood, please write. Thank you!
Coyote on the Prowl – The beautiful robust Coyote seen in the above clips was successful hunting an Eastern Meadow Vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus). After capturing and then, I think, double checking that it was fully incapacitated, he gleefully rolled around on the Meadow Vole many times over before resuming eating. Royalty free music by Antonio Vivaldi ” L’inv erno, Concerto No.4 In Fa Minore.”
I haven’t seen our neighborhood Coyotes recently, perhaps because several unfortunately had what appeared to be very advanced stages of mange.
Eastern Coyote pup image courtesy Wiki Commons media
The average gestation period for Coyotes Is about 63 days, which means the pups are usually born from mid-March to mid-May. The litter may be anywhere from four to seven pups. Coyotes usually sleep above ground. The only time they use a den is during pup season. A den my be a rocky outcrop, hollowed out tree stump, or an existing burrow made by a Racoon, Red Fox, or other mid-sized burrowing mammal. Sometimes the female digs a den from scratch.
The Eastern Coyote is a colossally successful species. The map below illustrates how dramatically the Eastern Coyote’s range has expanded in less than 120 years.
Driving along the Great Marsh at dawn, off in the distance a Red Fox caught my eye. I quickly reversed direction and was able to take a few snapshots. The Fox was vigorously digging in the snow and when he looked up, a small furry creature was clenched between its jaws.
He trotted closer to the edge of the scrubby shrubs with his breakfast held firmly. A brief pause and several chomps later, the unlucky one was devoured.
The Fox gave a toss of his head and while glancing around appeared to be laughing with delight, before then slipping into the wooded margins of the field.
As you can see from the map, the Red Fox (Vulpesvulpes) is widely distributed across the Northern Hemisphere. Additionally, Red Fox thrive in Australia too, where they are not native and considered an invasive species.
The Red Fox’s success is due largely to its ability to adapt to human habitats and to its extraordinary sense of hearing. A Red Fox can hear a mouse in snow from 42 feet away!
Because the Coyote has expanded its range so greatly, competing with Red Fox for food and habitat, Red Fox are reportedly denning closer to homes. Most likely because human habitats are a safer choice for their kits than Coyote territory.
Oh how I wish a Foxy mama would call our yard home!