Sunday, July 11, 2010

"A Young Juvenile Coyote was spotted at my water fountain this morning!"

This morning, I was lucky enough to catch a photo of a young juvenile coyote taking a drink at my water fountain on the back patio. While the photo is not the best, there was a need for discretion and so I took the photo through my patio window.

The coyote is a member of the dog family. In size and shape the coyote is like a medium-sized Collie dog, but its tail is round and bushy and is carried straight out below the level of its back.

Coyotes are found in low deserts and valleys here in Arizona and weigh about 20 pounds, less than half of their mountain kin, who can weigh up to 50 pounds. Desert Coyotes are light gray or tan with a black tip on the tail.

Coyotes of high elevations have fur that is darker, thicker and longer; the under parts are nearly white, with some specimens having a white tip on the tail. In winter the coats of mountain coyotes become long and silky, and trappers hunt them for their fur.

Today, the coyote is found throughout North America from eastern Alaska to New England and south through Mexico to Panama. It originally ranged primarily in the northwest corner of the US, but it has adapted readily to the changes caused by human occupation and, in the past 200 years, has been steadily extending its range. Sightings now commonly occur in Florida, New England and eastern Canada.

The coyote is one of the few wild animals whose vocalizations are commonly heard. At night coyotes both howl (a high quavering cry) and emit a series of short, high-pitched yips. Howls are used to keep in touch with other coyotes in the area. Sometimes, when it is first heard, the listener may experience a tingling fear of primitive danger, but to the seasoned outdoorsman, the howl of the coyote is truly a song of the West.

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