Antelope Island’s Coyotes on a bright winter day

/, Coyotes, Utah/Antelope Island’s Coyotes on a bright winter day

Coyote on iceCoyote on ice – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1000, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

Yesterday was a Coyote kind of day for me seeing two Coyotes fight, a pair chase off an intruding Coyote and another pair with an intruding Coyote following them.

I wish I could have gotten images of the Coyotes fighting but other photographers will know that timing is everything and in this case if we’d gotten to them a mere thirty seconds sooner, about the time it takes to read an email, that might have happened. I did get images of them after the fight and I will post some of those on another day. The second sighting of Coyotes happened near the turn off  to the Frary Peak Trail turn off where two Coyotes chased off a third but they were too far away for high quality images.

The images in this post are from the third encounter along the causeway that crosses the Great Salt Lake where a pair was near the causeway and an intruding Coyote followed them nearby. The lake is dryer than I have ever seen it but the Coyotes still walk the shoreline where there is vegetation to hunt for voles or falcon leftovers.

The intruding CoyoteThe intruding Coyote – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1000, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

The intruding Coyote appeared smaller than the two closest to the road and I wondered if it might be a young male trailing the pair that seemed to be mates. At times it just stood and watched the other two as they looked for prey.

Coyote close upCoyote close up – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

One of the Coyotes seemed to have no fear of the pickup and would get so close I could not focus on it. I could have picked up my backup camera with a shorter focal length but instead I tried to get portraits when it came in close. It looks like this Coyote has seen a few battles from the scars on its muzzle.

Coyote on the mudflatsCoyote on the mudflats – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

The pair of Coyotes walked through the vegetation in search of voles bit would occasionally walk out onto the mudflats where I could get shots of them without any obstructions. This one was walking back to the vegetation after a mock charge towards the intruder further out on the flats.

Snarling CoyotesSnarling Coyotes – Nikon D810, f10, 1/1250, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

One of the pair of Coyotes started to dig up a vole and when the second one came to investigate the first one let it know it needed to back off by snarling at it. Of course this all had to happen where the weathered bones of a bush got in the way. I really, really, really wish that the bush hadn’t been in front of the Coyote on the right.

Coyote keeping an eye on its mateCoyote keeping an eye on its mate – Nikon D810, f10, 1/1250, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

The Coyote that got snarled at slowly moved away from its mate and left it alone. It was the vole who was lucky because the Coyote didn’t catch it and soon the Coyote walked away.

An alert CoyoteAn alert Coyote – Nikon D810, f10, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

When I saw this Coyote pose like this I was reminded instantly of my German Shepherd who used to stand just like this when she was on alert.

The Coyotes I saw and photographed yesterday seemed to be exhibiting territorial behaviors that I wouldn’t expect this early in the year and perhaps that is because it has been such a warm winter for northern Utah.

It was a busy, Coyote filled morning on Antelope Island yesterday.

Life is good.

Mia

19 Comments

  1. Ken January 25, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Great coyote photographs! It reminds me I have to go out there more.

  2. Patty Chadwick January 22, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    How wonderful it is to see your beautiful images and read your comments once again! Thanks for all your efforts to make this happen…I’m very, very grateful!!!

    • Mia McPherson January 22, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      So very glad you are back Patty!

  3. Dave Sparks January 22, 2015 at 8:00 am

    An exciting day. Outstanding photos.

    • Mia McPherson January 22, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks Dave, it was an exciting day

  4. Humming Bird Lover January 22, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Hi! so happy I can see my gal photo’s again! Love all the poses! The pair of them growling and snapping at each other! I am jealous of their Snow! Have a special day shooting!

    • Mia McPherson January 22, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      Glad you are back too Mom!

      There really wasn’t much snow on the ground, I just got lucky they were walking on what is left.

  5. Tom Martin January 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Beautiful coyote series Mia, thanks, Tom

  6. Elephant's Child January 21, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    I never ever tire of your coyote images. Megathanks.

  7. CJ Oakley January 21, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Love that last pic… such regal bearing!

    • Mia McPherson January 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you CJ, it sure reminds me of the stance my sheperd would take.

  8. Jolanta January 21, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Awesome photos! Thank you 🙂

  9. Utahbooklover January 21, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Yes, beautiful animal, wonderful post. I was surprised by a story I found in Sunday’s Deseret News from the Chicago Tribune: Coyotes are finding new home in urban labyrinth of Chicago. “They’re all homegrown coyotes, all born and bred in Chicago” according to Stan Gehrt, an Ohio State University prof who specializes in coyote research in Cook County. He said the population swelled tenfold in the 90s. They are territorial so some animals were simply pushed out of the suburbs and into the city. Geht estimates 2000 coyotes call downtown home!

    • Mia McPherson January 22, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Utahbooklover, thanks!

      I saw the article some where besides the Deseret News about the Chicago coyotes, pretty neat!

  10. Nancy Collins January 21, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Great pics and story of a beautiful animal Mia!

    • Mia McPherson January 22, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you Nancy! They are beautiful.

Comments are closed.