Photos by BarrytheBirder
I was watching a flock of about 100 crows near Kettleby this morning, when three coyotes trotted past them. They were about 300 metres away from me so the photo, at top, is not very good. You can make out, however, coyotes on each side of the picture. The coyotes were in single file, not interested in crows, but on the trail of something. I have been trying to get a good photo of a coyote all winter, without luck. Here were three of them headed due west and it occured to me that if I drove over one concession road and looked back, in the direction of where I had been, these coyotes might head right towards me. Five minutes later, I was in position, but what appeared were 14 White-tailed Deer, seven of which are pictured above. Once again, the photo subjects are 300 to 400 metres away. My guess was that the coyotes were on the trail of, and headed right for, the deer, about 600 metres away. Coyotes (Canis latrans) have a great sense of smell and are the best runners among the canids. They can run normally at 25-30 mph and up to 40 mph for short distances, but they are also marathoners and have been known to covers great distances - up to 400 miles, non-stop. Meanwhile, White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) can run at 35 mph, though in flight they do not run great distances but flee to the nearest cover. If these three coyotes managed to separate one of the straggling deer from a group of 14, it would just a matter of time before the deer was pulled down. I did not wait around to see any such encounter. As I have quoted before: 'Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof'. Please comment if you wish.