Yesterday was another interesting day on Antelope Island seeing snow-covered Bison, snowy weather, birds and spotting Coyotes at a Mule Deer carcass. The Coyote above was not any where near the carcass, it had been wandering the road near the visitors center when another coyote appeared and chased this one away.
The light wasn’t great again but that didn’t stop me from seeing two coyotes feeding on the mule deer carcass behind some phragmites.The ravens and magpies were also hanging around hoping to get their share of the fallen deer. At first both Coyotes moved away from the carcass when we stopped and started photographing them but it was only a few minutes later when this coyote slowly moved back towards the carcass.
I don’t know why the mule deer died and I don’t like to speculate but hopefully it wasn’t shot illegally by some unethical person and instead died of natural causes. What I do know is that the ravens, magpies and coyotes were having a winter feast. Those appear to be rib bones beneath the coyote’s neck and the ears just below the antlers that are sticking up.
After leaving the coyotes, birds and the mule deer carcass my next subjects were several Bison bulls resting and grazing on a small hill with the frozen Great Salt Lake in the background. Some had Black-billed Magpies on their backs.
And some had European Starlings. I love getting snowy bison images but they can be a challenge to expose properly in low light conditions. I have a ton of bison images in my portfolio but I don’t think I can ever have enough.
Back at the carcass there was a coyote nearby, I can’t be certain it was one of the same coyotes that I saw there earlier or if this is different coyote that moved in on the fallen deer. From this angle the backbone of the deer is clearly visible and that most of the meat is gone and that the antlers make for a handy perch for the magpies in the area.
The magpies seemed to stay a distance away from the feeding coyotes but a few times it appeared to me that they dove at them. The coyotes seemed a bit nervous at the carcass and that behavior might have been because they were wary of other coyotes coming in on the carcass or perhaps the Golden Eagles I saw the day before had fed on the carcass as well and they could have tangled with the coyotes. I would have loved to have seen the eagles there too but that wasn’t in the cards.
I never know what I will see on Antelope Island but there is always something interesting going on. I had a great time photographing the Bison, Starlings, Magpies, Coyotes and a Mule Deer carcass.
Life is good.