The coyotes of winter

When we first moved out to this acreage of 104 acres, the largest acreage we had been on was 3 acres for 10 years. It was in a nice area of similar sized lots and very secluded.  However, we were not  blessed with the variety of  wild visitors we have had out in our new location. 

New Year’s Day we saw two coyotes just across the road from our house, chasing some prey.  Maybe rabbits or even the field mice; they are plentiful.  They actually spent quite a lot of time out in the open and it was just before noon.  They were in no hurry to leave and I guess while the hunting was good they were going to hang around. 

I must admit that the first time we heard the coyotes out here it was a bit unnerving.  It has been fun to track the areas their calls come from and we can tell what area they are howling from.  It has been interesting to see one or two occasionally out during the day.  It is not too often, and it seems usually it is a young one.  One day a young one had gotten separated from his gang, and was out howling to get them to come for him as he wandered around the pastures.  I got binoculars to track him, and finally one came to him from the trees along our dry creek bed at the back of our property, happily united, and off they went.

Luckily, the coyotes have not had any interest in our alpacas or our chickens (yet).  They are all contained in no climb fencing and hot wires at top and along the bottom.  I regularly check the fence to make sure nothing is trying to dig under or wriggle through.  The chickens are closed up nightly in their coops, except for the guineas that just won’t go in, I call “the three stooges”.

I love to watch the hawks circling and this fall for the very first time we saw scores of hawks circling and moving south, apparently in migration mode.  There is a smaller falcon sized hawk I am trying to identify; I am seeing this one this year for the first time.

We are careful not to keep food type trash or any animal feed out for any animal to get to.  Our neighbor unfortunately would feed his dogs and cats outside and created a free feast for the area skunks.  Since they moved I have not seen skunks around. 

The snakes we have seen are harmless rat snakes and are harmless but keep the mice population down.  We try not to harm them and they will move off if there is too much people activity.

The owls are fun to listen to.  We had one that nested in our tree at our other house. It was nice to know there are plenty living in our windbreaks.  One night there were 3 calling and they sounded like they all were just outside of the window; I am guessing they were on the high point of our steeply pitched roof. 

The summer hummingbirds and butterflies are great fun.  I spy the occasional gecko and we have seen a roadrunner out on our country road.

Being in the country makes you open your eyes and observe nature more closely.



  1. rodcros said,

    January 15, 2009 at 5:38 PM

    I blundered onto your Coyote article. Nice blog.

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