Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yellowstone's Coyotes

As you make the rounds on the roads of Yellowstone, coyotes are frequently seen as they work their way through the sage and grass covered meadows.  Our best encounter this year was just west of Canyon Village mid-afternoon.

We first saw him when he was south of the road working his way through the tall grass looking for mice.  He crossed the road and we managed to move ahead of the path I thought he would take.  It is MUCH easier to photograph an animal as it is working its way toward you naturally.  They often will get closer to you than you could ever get if you try to chase it. A parked car makes an excellent blind that coyotes will often ignore in their search for food.

While I did miss a few shots because I was trying for a good head shot when it pounced and caught the mouse, I was still pleased to get some good shots as he was mousing.

It was really special to be able to watch and photograph the actual capture of the mouse so near to the car.  Amazingly enough, the coyote swallowed the mouse pretty much whole, very little chewing!

I know that outside the park, coyotes are a costly nuisance to farmers and even dangerous for pets in the city.  But . . . one of the wonderful things about Yellowstone, it is possible to see wild animals in their home territory doing what they've done for thousands of years.  In Yellowstone I LOVE to see the coyotes go about their business!

No comments: