Coyotes: An essay of photos


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I live out in the country. In ranch land in fact, and the feelings out here about coyotes are often rather negative. They are an interesting animal, and are rather wily if I may. In urban and suburban areas they can become bold, stealing small pets, and even approaching humans to beg. I once had encounters with a coyote that would walk in front of slow moving cars to stop them so that it could have its picture taken and beg.

The coyote that would stop cars. I tried to scare it off with my flash when it approached me too closely one morning, but it wasn't even fazed

Out here in the country however, they are much more skittish, running off at the slightest movement or sound. They have to, their lives depend on it. Ranchers shoot these marauders to protect their sheep. Llamas and sheep dogs only work to a point, especially during lambing season, so the ranchers patrol their borders with lead and steel.

Coyote noticing me, as I sit in my kayak, photographing it from a tidal slough in the Giacomini Wetlands

I see them sometimes, distantly in a field or wandering the shoreline. When I see them in a more wild state and habitat than the ranches and the suburbs, they are a different animal, one that intrigues me and draws me on. They can be a beautiful animal, with intelligence behind their eyes.

They definitely do not have the mass that you see in a wolf, often feeling lanky (almost appearing undernourished because of their natural build). Their reddish to straw colored coats blend into the grassy territory that they hunt.

A sleek looking coyote cutting through the grassy fields of the Point Reyes National Seashore

Their natural prey is a combination of small rodents, rabbits, amphibians, reptiles, and scavenging. From their diet you would not guess at the bearing and presence that you can see in their eyes. They are hunters, predators.

The coyote surveys the wind and the fields


About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
This entry was posted in coyote, My favorite Parks, nature photography, Photo Essay, photography, wildlife photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Coyotes: An essay of photos

  1. ryokokalin says:

    Lovely photos. I live in the country also and hear the coyotes at night. I even had a run in with one while walking out to see my horse at night.

    • Thank you. Such an interesting cry they have. One f my favorite times to hear them is when I am kayaking on my local bay at night, and their lonely wavering cry carries across the water to be answered by another coyote from a far shore. Thanks for visiting my blog

  2. Chris Knowles says:

    There is one that has been hanging out south of Frank Truttman’s old ranch on Hwy. one, south of the Olema cemetery. I had to slam on the brakes one morning because it wasn’t bothered by the car that was moving towards it at 50 mph. I’ve seen it hunting in the field there on the east side of the road. They are pretty neat critters when they aren’t hunting livestock or pets.

  3. One dark, stormy night, I was driving up the Olema ridge from Samuel P. Taylor area and had gotten to the ranch lands where the cows graze at the top of the hill. At the edge of the lighted area that my headlights illuminated ran a deer with two coyotes about 10 or 15 feet behind it.

    That was exciting thing to behold. I can’t help cringe in concern for the deer. I know everything has to eat. And I have no issues with coyotes eating. It is just when it comes down to particulars, I get sentimental.

    • I’ve heard of several coyote sightings/encounters around that area. I’ve never seen one (much less two) chasing a deer before though. That must have been very exciting. Better the coyotes catching and eating a deer though than a car hitting one and leaving it to rot for several weeks. Nature is the better consumer

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