Friday, February 11, 2011

Morning Visitors

Was enjoying my morning coffee, looking over the backyard. It's spring in Central Florida, the nectarine tree is blooming and the orange tree is in the early stages of budding new blossoms.

My backyard ends with a thick tangle of underbrush. I don't live in the country, but there is plenty of cover. Cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, quail, squirrels, rabbits, gopher turtles, and a host of other wildlife are frequent visitors to our back yard.

The small animals attract their share of predators. I've seen hawks, owls, fox, and even a bobcat makes an occasional visit.

But this morning, two coyotes passed through the back yard. They've been around before, but haven't been spotted for a couple of years.

Our two dogs went berserk when they saw the coyotes. When the barking started, the coyotes stopped and looked toward the house. After a moment, the lead animal continued into the wooded area and soon was out of sight. The second one waited a moment longer, and limped off. Interesting enough, he didn't limp into the yard, only on his way out.

The limp was on the right foreleg, plainly visible from the house. I wondered about the coyote's intentions. Many animals feign injury to draw a predator away from their nests, but this is the first time I saw an animal feign an injury in hopes of luring an animal into a trap.

The coyote obviously hoped our dogs would give chase. Our dogs are 20 pound bichons, no match for the coyotes. If they had been outside when the coyotes came, one or both of them would have been easy prey.

Looks like I'll have to keep a close eye on the dogs.

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