Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Coyotes in the Neighborhood

The last blog I wrote was over a month ago. It was about my resident sandhill crane couple and the care they took with their colt.  I enjoyed watching them everyday, but I am sad to report the baby crane has disappeared. I watched the parents without the baby for a while thinking they were just giving it space to learn life skills. The more time that passed without seeing it made me realize it was gone. Today I found out what might have happened. 

I was outside preparing my garage window trim for painting. As I was scraping the loose paint off, I heard an especially loud warning from the sandhill crane couple. They separated themselves from each other and hollered as loud as I have ever heard them. I couldn't see anything unusual so I continued working. I was priming the window frames when I heard it again. It was clearly a stranger danger call.

As I looked again, I saw some movement in the cattails. At first I thought it was a dog, then a fox but lo and behold it was a coyote pup. It was eating something. With the water level down to almost nothing, I imagine the frogs are plentiful. It was just chewing away like it was having a snack.
Just a short time before Princeton's noon whistle was going off. As it was sounding I heard coyotes howling. I had a new roof put on my house a couple weeks ago and the guys told me that every day they would hear coyotes when the whistle blew. Today I heard it for myself. As with all animals, the babies are adorable but coyotes are not a good thing to have in the neighborhood. People will have to watch their dogs and cats carefully. After seeing this, I don't think our little sandhill crane colt had a chance.

There might be a whole pack of coyotes close by. The howling was definitely more than one. I haven't seen the bobcat for a while. I wonder if they will stay out of each others way. Things could get interesting if they don't.