Monday, March 30, 2009

Coyotes, Birds and Spring(?)

This morning as I was walking to the barn, I saw a coyote gallop out of the geldings' dry lot, across the road in front of me and up the hill across the way.  We have several styles of coyote - this one was medium sized, fawn/grey in color and looked to be healthy - he or she had a nice coat.  We sometimes have large, husky dog looking coyotes that I suspect may be dog crosses, and there are also small ones that look almost foxlike.  Earlier this winter we had a young coyote that would bed down in the hay next to the round bale holders at night.  When I would turn out my first pair of horses, we would wake him up - first you'd just see the ears sticking up out of the hay, then he or she would stand up and trot off.  One morning he was on the far side of the round bale, and didn't see us - Lily went out to eat at the bale, became very alert, started to trot and drove the coyote out of the dry lot!  We haven't seen that coyote for several months now.

With the snow on the ground, the killdeers are bewildered.  They may have already laid eggs, and were plaintively running around in the dry lots this morning looking for their nests.  This happened last year, but they renested and didn't have any trouble raising at least one brood.  We don't have a shortage of killdeers.

Even though there is snow and ice everywhere, it still feels like spring - perhaps it's the angle of the sun.  The snow is melting fast.  While I was working at my desk this morning, I saw a pair of goldfinches drinking where the downspout directs the meltwater from the roof.  The goldfinches (at least the males) look odd now - they are midway between their winter and summer plumages and look somewhat patchy.

6 comments:

  1. Most people don't like coyotes but I do. I would have loved to see the look on that guy's face when he was surprised by the horse. Keep a good thought I'm sure spring will be in your area soon.

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  2. I don't like coyotes.... they creep me out.
    Strange because I love dogs. Sorry this winter crud is hanging around so long I too am so ready for it to be over. I did see a robin building a nest in my barn today a sure sign that Spring is indeed coming right?

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  3. I don't really mind coyotes. They have caused trouble for us once with our stray goats a few years ago. We added another stand of high tensile wire beneath the end of the woven wire fence of their pen and that seemed to take care of the problem. I guess I should dislike them but they're just trying to live their life while we intrude in their space.

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  4. We have quite a few coyotes that hang around the stable. They are strangely playful, they have stolen the horse's Jolly Balls, and also the rubber duckies we put in our water jump! We find them on the edge of the property all chewed up. They have become so used to people, that they sometimes stand and watch our riding lessons.

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  5. Coyotes are still a novelty here in NJ, but we do have some. The only one I've seen so far was hit by a car. He/she was really big...at least very large German Shepherd size.

    The angle and strength of the sun really do make a difference. I think that's how our internal clocks get set to Spring.

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  6. We have packs of coyotes at a distance and probably at night they come in but we've not seen them in daylight. I think your blog got inadvertently deleted from my page when I changed my background back to the original? Sorry... I'll add it back.

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