I had a marvelous photographic experience with Coyote along the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake last week and wanted to share some of the images that I created.
Coyote with Falcon leftovers ~ Shoreline of the Great Salt Lake ~ Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC 230mm, natural light, not baited
The temperatures have fluctuated often the past few weeks in the Salt Lake Valley, for a while it was very cold and the Great Salt Lake became covered with ice, then it warmed up and the wind blew huge sheets of the ice onto the shoreline where it piled up in some areas at least four feet high and after that we had a freeze that left everything frosty the morning I took these images.
Coyote eating – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 315mm, natural light, not baited
I watched as the Coyote walked the shoreline of the lake until it stopped and picked up something with feathers and started to eat it. The Coyote hadn’t caught the duck, its dismembered carcass was laying in the frosty vegetation. I had seen Prairie and Peregrine Falcons feeding on ducks in the same location and the only thing they ate was the body of the ducks so I am presuming that the Coyote was feasting on the Falcons leftovers which consisted of wings and possibly legs.
The Coyote didn’t seemed at all concerned with being observed while it ate but it did keep its eyes facing towards me most of the time. It also consumed almost all of the feathers, I only saw the longest feathers fall to the ground.
Coyote after finishing eating one of the falcon leftovers – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC 315mm, natural light, not baited
I really like how this one small feather stuck to the side of the Coyote’s mouth even while it was licking its lips.
I must admit I felt a little squeamish while watching the Coyote eat, not because of the blood, bones or that the food was a duck but because I kept imagining how those feathers must feel in my throat.
Coyote hunting the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/400, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 280mm, natural light, not baited
As I recall the Coyote found and ate 3 of the left over duck bodies but it also pounced and leapt into the grasses, after voles I believe though I didn’t see it catch one.
Stalking Coyote – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 220mm, natural light, not baited
Coyotes are efficient hunters and they also appear to be very beneficial in cleaning up leftovers. Plus I believe they are extremely interesting critters too.