Coyote aka The Prairie Wolf

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Coyote in low lightCoyote in low light

Coyotes are among my favorite mammals even though I know a great many people fear or hate them. I know they belong, I know they help to keep nature in balance and that their foothold is as strong as mine is on this gorgeous planet. One of the nicknames for a Coyote is the “Prairie Wolf” and like wolves; they can be very efficient hunters. This Coyote strolled along the causeway to Antelope Island hunting as it went and caught several voles while I photographed it.

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I wouldn’t care for a breakfast of a furry vole but the Coyote sure loved it. The light was low enough that I could not completely freeze the motion of the vole’s tail wiggling in the Coyote’s jaw but I like this image anyway.



  1. Mark August 30, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Great portraits and behavior photos Mia. I would love to spend some time up close and personal like this with a coyote. We have them in this area of Michigan, but they are rarely seen.

    • Mia McPherson August 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm


      I hope you get to spend some time up close to Coyotes, they really are amazing creatures and so often misunderstood.

  2. Sharon Palac August 28, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Mia,

    Just found your photography site, beautiful photos to say the least! We have coyotes, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope in the fields and low hills behind my house in north central Arizona, such a treat to see. Can you suggest a good quality and affordable camera that would be suitable for a beginner, such as myself? I would love to snap my own shots of my wildlife neighbors!



    • Mia McPherson August 31, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for your kind words on my work, I love my subjects!

      I would suggest getting either a Canon or Nikon DSLR with a cropped sensor, that will help as far as focal length goes because the cropped sensor adds a bit to focal length. I’d recommend a 70-300mm VR or IS lens for a beginner on a budget, although a longer lens would be better they are much more expensive. There is also a Canon SX50 HS that one of my friends really enjoys for the 50X optical zoom and because it is lightweight and you can carry it all day. I can’t do that with my bird set up! Plus the Canon SX50 HS does video. You might want to try it before going to DSLRs.

  3. Kim August 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I’ve heard coyotes howling and glimpsed them in the distance but your images have brought them to life for me. The first image is a truly magnificent portrait.

    • Mia McPherson August 27, 2013 at 7:45 am

      Thank you Kim, hearing the “Prairie Wolves” calling is always a thrill for me.

  4. Sonja Ross August 26, 2013 at 3:06 am

    That background really shows him off beautifully. I guess the relationships between animals and humans will always have differing viewpoints.

  5. Gunilla August 26, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Awesome shots of this beautiful animal!

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:33 am

      Thank you Gunilla, and thanks for visiting my blog.

  6. jo smith August 25, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Love the eyes. We have them in the Ozarks… hear them more than see them.

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:32 am

      Jo, I love to hear the songs of the Coyotes, there is something magic about their songs. Thank you

  7. Mama Zen August 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    I love these!

  8. Cheryl Valdez August 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Great expression on his face, Mia. I love these shots!

  9. Elephant's Child August 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    They are stunningly beautiful animals. Thank you. And I hope that they, and many other animals as well, have a firmly foothold on earth than we do. They certainly cause less damage.

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:30 am

      EC, I agree, they cause less damage than we do. Coyotes are wonderful at keeping nature in balance, we aren’t.

  10. Sheila August 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Place me in the I Love category for both the Wolf and the Coyote! I think they are simply beautiful. In 1997 we went to Yellowstone to try and see the wolves. We did manage a most spectacular viewing of the Druid Peak pack as they were returning from a hunt. There were 11 of them and the famous all white grandmother was one!! I will never forget that experience. The coyote has the most beautiful rust colored face. We would see them during the winter up in Rocly.

    Wonderful image!!

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:29 am

      Sheila, your sighting of the Druid Peak pack at Yellowstone must have been incredible! I haven’t seen the wolves of Yellowstone but I tend to stay away from crowded locations. Maybe one day I will see them.

  11. Julie Brown August 25, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I really enjoy seeing coyote’s through your lens, Mia. Beautiful work, as always.

  12. Loekie van der Wal August 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Again an excellent photo from this Coyote. I have not been able to get these close-ups as you do. As soon as they see me they run away. The only time I was kind of lucky was when that Coyote was just strolling in a field with the Columbia Ground Squirrels, so I could take several pictures. But still a bit too far out. Great work as usual, Mia!

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:22 am


      I think one of the reasons I get photos of Coyotes like I do is that Coyotes are not hunted & killed on Antelope Island. If they were I doubt I’d be able to get any where close to them. Outside of the island when I see Coyotes they are running away before I can pick my camera up.

  13. Merrill Ann Gonzales August 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Gorgeous portraiture. Your photography is just amazing.

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:21 am

      Thank you Merrill, I have the best subjects.

  14. judy watson August 25, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Mia, beautiful photos of the coyote!
    I haven’t seen one in ages out there. Your photos are so perfect!

    Gary….It’s $10 to get on the Island now.

    • Gary DeFeyter August 25, 2013 at 10:34 am

      $10. Cheap at twice the price. If I could find an airline that has a reasonable non stop rate I would gladly fly out there for a DAY. Wonderful place. We did the Bison Round Up last October. Awesome even though they had to go over the ridge and come in from the other side. What a wonderful group of people. Great final Day of our trip.

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:20 am

      Judy, I sure haven’t seen many Coyotes out there this summer. Things will pick up as it gets cooler though.

  15. M. Firpi August 25, 2013 at 7:23 am

    Magnificent moment and close-up of this wild poochie.

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:19 am

      Thanks Maria, they are wonderful animals.

  16. patty chadwick August 25, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Beautiful, shots of that intelligent, expressive face…no wonder so many Native Americans refer to Coyote as the “Trickster” who is a much respected TEACHER of what to and what not to do. Too bad so many (mostly pale) two-leggeds aren’t smart enough to realize this…maybe if this knowledge came in a little playing card-sized, electronic, palm-sized, plastic rectangle more of them might “get” it…

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:18 am

      Patty, your last statement about the “little playing card-sized, electronic, palm-sized, plastic rectangle” had me chuckling. You are right, maybe they might get it.

      If people would leave Coyotes alone they would fin their natural balance again, and scientific studies have shown that when the Coyotes are exterminated they just come back stronger. After over 100 years of trying to eradicate Coyotes you would think people would learn.

  17. John Randall August 25, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Thank you Mia for sharing these awesome portraits , particularly the profile one and the Coyotes’s focus of intention. Awesome.

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:14 am

      Thanks John, they are really lovely creatures.

  18. Stu August 25, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Such Great closeup photographs of these wonderful animals. I love them too, and its a highlight of the year if I am able to catch one passing through,even more so if I can get to stay long enough to photograph. Excellent colors and detail countess ;). The have such amazing faces.. Again, wonderful images Mia

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:14 am

      Thank you Stu, I love it when you post images of coyotes near your yard.

  19. Gary DeFeyter August 25, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Beautiful shots. I love shooting coyotes. They are so much fun to watch. A lot of character. It seems that Antelope Island has more in the last few years than we used to see. Last year we saw about 15 different ones all over the island. Headed to Yellowstone in October and will be at Antelope Island around the 12th & 13th. I cannot wait. One of my all time favorite places to visit. We plan our trips west with Antelope Island in mind. That is why we fly into Salt Lake City rather than Idaho Falls which would be more convenient. I am counting the days. I love your site and check in daily without fail. Nice work.

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:13 am


      Coyotes are great fun to watch and photograph, I am always thrilled when I see one. This past month I haven’t seen many of them on the island but I think that is partly due to heat, drought and possibly the crash in the vole population last fall/winter. I expect things will have picked up by October though when you are visiting.

  20. Larry Jordan August 25, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Gorgeous close-ups of this amazing predator Mia. I can’t fathom why some foolish people want to shoot this incredibly important natural predator. I stop and enjoy watching them every single time I spot a coyote, although I have never been close enough to get a decent photograph. It disheartens me that the Coyote, along with his brother the wolf, are so misunderstood in our culture. These beautiful creatures are revered by Native Americans.

    • Utahbooklover August 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      I agree with your comment completely, Larry; both coyotes and wolves are necessary for the balance of nature. And I hope the only shooting of these beautiful creatures anyone is doing is with a camera!

      • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:26 am

        Utahbooklover, I was so angry last year with Gov Herbert increasing the bounty on Coyotes, I am still angry about that. Sadly he seems as misinformed and ignorant about studies that show Coyote populations increase in areas where they are slaughtered. Of course, his administration has paid a guy $300,000.00 a year to wander around the state looking for “big, bad wolves”. That is being investigated last I heard.

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:11 am

      Larry, I can’t fathom why people want to shoot Coyotes either, they are an important part of natural balance because they are a predator yet they are shot simply because they are. Both the Coyote and the Wolf should be respected and revered.

  21. Montanagirl August 25, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Wonderful, detailed shots of the Coyote. I assume that was the Antelope Island in Northern Utah? We’ve been there once when visiting kids. Cool place!

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:09 am

      Montana Girl, this was photographed on the causeway that goes out to Antelope Island State Park in northern Utah. It is a great place for bird and nature photography. Thanks for commenting!

  22. Eileen August 25, 2013 at 4:59 am

    He is beautiful! Amazing captures, Mia!

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:07 am

      Thanks Eileen, Coyotes mesmerize me

  23. Bob Bushell August 25, 2013 at 4:06 am

    The most beautiful of animals, you photographed it so well.

    • Mia McPherson August 26, 2013 at 5:07 am

      Thank you so much Bob.

Comments are closed.