Coyote Arrives

One morning the gray fox and three pups were playing in the back yard, sitting on the wood pile, running up and down the pile, wrestling in the yard. The next morning a coyote arrives and the foxes are gone.

Foxes are the smallest of the dog family. They are attacked by coyotes, bobcats and people. They rarely live more than three or four years.

gray fox and pup
Left on her own, this mother gray fox raised her family of five pups in the relative safety of the house so she could leave them to hunt. The little ones were almost as big as she when they moved onto the hillside.

We hear coyotes calling back on the hills. The neighbors complain about coyotes killing their chickens. Their dogs are no deterrent.

Coyotes rarely come up to our house. We don’t actively chase them away, but we are usually home and out around the place. They don’t like the activity.

This seems to make our home area a somewhat safe haven. Deer keep their fawns nearby. This is the third time gray foxes have raised pups under the house.

I do have chickens. I do lose a few to the foxes. We come to an understanding. I keep the chickens up unless I am around. The foxes avoid coming near the chickens when I am there and don’t attack them in their yard.

coyote arrives
Coyotes are enemies of foxes. This coyote moved onto the hill where the foxes were staying. The foxes vanished. The coyote seems to have moved on. Coyotes look a lot different than foxes.

When a coyote arrives, everything changes. Coyotes are bigger predators than foxes. I’m not so sure about yelling at one and chasing it across the yard would work. And a coyote would not drop off an unharmed chicken as it ran off.

Coyotes usually run in packs. I saw only one. Perhaps it was run off by its pack and hadn’t found a place to go yet. I hope it kept on moving.

Wildlife lives here. We see it. We live with it or take action when we must.

For now we miss watching the foxes in the morning. But, when a coyote arrives, things change. Perhaps the fox will come back in the spring with new pups.