Female CoyoteInjured female Coyote – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

Yesterday I spotted a Coyote on Antelope Island, it was down a slope near a herd of Pronghorn and not in the best of light. I noticed almost right away that the Coyote was limping rather badly. I can’t guess as to how the Coyote sustained its injury but I hope that it will be okay.

Then I saw a second paler Coyote that had just crossed the road  to the other side and realized that I had photographed this pair recently and that this was the female to the pale male I wrote about here.  The female did not have an injured leg when I photographed them at the end of January.

Pale male Coyote on a rockPale male Coyote on a rock – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

There was another car in the area and two people jumped out to photograph the pale male Coyote on the west side of the road which unsettled the Pronghorn herd. It is easy to see when that happens because they raise the light patches of hair on their rear ends. The female Coyote wasn’t bothering them at all as she struggled to walk in the snow, the Pronghorns were much more concerned about the people. The Coyotes were separated because of the road and also because the female wasn’t going to get close to the couple who had gotten out of their vehicle. The female Coyote then laid down in the snow and rested.

The pale male stood on a rock some times gazing towards where the female laid down and at other times just looked around.

Male Coyote eating something while laying in the snowMale Coyote eating something while laying in the snow – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

After the couple got back in their vehicle and left the male Coyote found what appeared to be a section of bones from the wing of a large bird behind the rock on the right side of this frame and it gnawed on those bones.

Male CoyoteMale Coyote – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

After the pale male Coyote was done gnawing on the bones it stood back up and looked around.

Keeping a watchful eyeKeeping a watchful eye  – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

He was keeping an eye on his mate. As he slowly started to make his way up the hill we left because we didn’t want to keep them separated because of our presence. I’m sure the female will catch back up to the pale male or that he will circle back to rejoin her.

It is the policy of the park to allow nature to take its course so I didn’t report the injured Coyote to the park rangers, that is a policy I believe in and stand behind even when seeing an injury in an animal that tugs at my heart. And it does.

She may just have something lodged in the pad of her foot, I am just not sure. I’ll be looking for this pair of Coyotes in the future though.

Mia