I see them most every day at sundown, hunting for their dinner over the twenty acres of sparsely vegetated desert land. Coyotes have made their home on a vacant land parcel across the road from our ranch. Far as I can figure there are four, I’ve seen one adult and three pups. But from all the yipping and howling I hear at night, I suspect there’s more.
There’s a mountain range a mere block away, some three thousand acres of untouched land. But they’ve chosen to raise their pups here, in the foothills where noise is bothersome, but food is plentiful. They’re undoubtedly feeding on the billion rabbits at our ranch. Which I must admit were reproducing at an astonishing rate. At dawn it was not uncommon to see fifty or more bunnies playing or nibbling on grass around the barn. I’d find babies everywhere, in my hay pile, manure pile, under the tack shed…everywhere! Now I see maybe ten. Nature at work…
Considering a coyote can clear an eight foot fence, my livestock water troughs behind a seven foot perimeter block wall are assumed their ample water source. That also explains the longtime mystery scat found in numerous places around the ranch.
The pups look to be about four or five months old, and are now exploring beyond their boundaries of comfort. Last night a pair stood their ground in my driveway, then dashed behind a cluster of brush as my truck approached. I must admit, that was a little too close for my comfort.
Food habit studies reveal the coyote’s principle diet is composed of mice, rabbits, ground squirrels, other small rodents, insects, reptiles, and fruits and berries of wild plants. No wonder they live here, nature has unintentionally provided them a feast!
Interesting Facts about the Coyote:
Although the coyote has been observed killing sheep, poultry and other livestock, it doesn’t subsist on domestic animals.
The coyote is a digitigrade meaning it walks with only its toes touching the ground.