Coyotes in Malheur

When I tell people I’m going on a “birding trip” that’s only half true because I’m really going on a “Nature trip” and if I happen to see some birds while I’m there, all the better.

I got up at first light Tuesday morning, fixed a light breakfast, and headed out for a day of exploring Malheur. I began the day with a shot of a coyote that ran on first sight, but paused and looked back as soon as it reached cover:

Coyote in tall grass

Strangely, I also ended my drive through Malheur with this shot of a young coyote,

Young Coyote walking on road

walking on the road near the small community of Frenchglen, much too boldly for my taste and probably for its own good. I drove right past it and had the feeling if I’d called it it would have been willing to eat out of my hand. Hunting may be banned on the Wildlife Refuge, but I doubt local farmers would be quite as accommodating.

I felt much better the next day when driving back through the refuge I saw this coyote that appeared to be hunting mice in recently hayed fields,

Coyote hunting mice

and across the road a young coyote seemed to be emulating its parent,

coyote in field

though it showed much more curiosity about me than its parent did. I suspect it’s better for everyone if coyotes do what comes naturally and avoid becoming dependent on humans for food.