One year ago today I observed and photographed a Coyote and Black-billed Magpies scavenging a deer carcass to survive on Antelope Island State Park. The snow was deep, the temperatures were low and the coyote and magpies had found the dead deer which helped them to survive another harsh winter day.
Scavengers are an important part of of the food web and they remove the carrion from the ecosystem which helps to break down the organic material and recycle it back into the ecosystem as nutrients. Black-billed Magpies are known scavengers and will often come to the carrion in large numbers. Coyotes will scavenge because they are opportunistic and carrion is an easy meal for them. I saw two different coyotes at this deer carcass a year ago today and way out in the distance I also saw one laying down and resting in the snow. That coyote may have already fed on the deer carcass or it simply might have been patiently waiting its turn to feed.
Far too often scavengers and predators are killed out of ignorance, fear or superstition. But we need them. We will always need them as long as there is life on this planet.
This image may seem gross or repulsive to some but I think it represents nature and the will to live very well.
Life is good. Surviving to live another day is good too.