The Coyote

Wetlands Park Friends

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are frequently seen, and even more frequently heard, throughout Clark County Wetlands Park. Usually they appear silently from cover in the early morning and evening.

One morning I was checking the paved loop trail in the Nature Preserve near the Upper Pond when I heard several sharp barks. When I stopped to look for the source, the barks were repeated.  

After several minutes I spotted a mother coyote just ahead of me at the side of the trail, looking straight at me and barking. As I watched, her four pups crossed the trail to her. Once she had them under  control, she stopped barking and all of them slipped silently out of sight.

A pair of coyotes produces one litter, averaging seven pups, each year. Both parents are involved in feeding and raising their family.  

The pups I saw looked young – recently out of their underground den – about eight to ten weeks old. I think I interrupted a hunting lesson! -Chris Leavitt; photographer, Donald Gibe