Earlier this year I wished that I could find a Coyote den. I did this past week thanks to some upset Long-billed Curlews.
I was watching several Long-billed Curlews in flight it was clear that they were obviously distressed. It is time for their chicks to have hatched so the birds do become protective easily. While watching the curlews flying I wondered “why” they were upset. The birds were too far away to get decent shots of so I started scanning the area below them with my lens to see if I could spot a predator.
I scanned towards a very vibrant green clump of grasses and saw a tiny movement, then the tip of an ear and shortly after that the face of a young coyote. The den was not close to the road we were on so we drove up a hill to get closer to the den. Still it was quite a distance away and we had to look down the hill to see the den. There were two coyote pups and an adult!
Before long the adult started to move away towards another hill in front of us with one of the pups following at a distance. The other pup seemed content to stay at the den. As the adult and pup made their way up the hill we drove to just before where we thought they might come to the top. The adult came up the hill and stopped at the crest looking at us before continuing on to cross the road. The coyote pup followed after the parent but stopped in the road long enough for a few close up photos. Then is dashed off after the adult.
It pays to be aware of bird & animal behavior, it can lead you to some unexpected photo ops like it did with me spotting those coyote pup from such a long distance.