Interloper returns

It’s back!  The wandering coyote returns after a one-week hiatus.

He's walking the same trail the fox and the neighbor's dog patrol.

Walking the same trail the fox and the neighbor’s dog patrol.

And in broad daylight, so not being very secretive about its visit.  This coyote seems to be a loner, which probably means it is a non-territorial nomad cruising a large home range.

I assume he follows the scent trail of the other canids in the area, checking out who's who in the territory.

I assume it follows the scent trail of the other canids in the area, checking out who’s who in the territory.

Coyotes tend to occur either as transient loners or in small packs that take up residence in an area.  Single individuals are either youngsters who have been pushed out of a pack because of competition with the breeding pair or old individuals  pushed out by the young studs.  But whereas packs tend to be active at night or in early morning or evening, single individuals are often active in the daytime — another clue that this one is on its own.

He sees me after I open my porch window to get a better shot, but it doesn't scare him away.

It sees me after I open my porch window to get a better shot, but that doesn’t scare it away.

One last action before moving on to explore the next backyard — marking the trail with its own scent.

Is this male or female urination behavior?

Is this male or female urination behavior?  

Male coyotes mark with urine scent more often than females, using either the raised leg or “forward-lean” posture.  Female coyotes use the same squat posture that female dogs do, so this must be a male.  The fact that he takes the time to scent-mark this trail may mean this neighborhood is part of his nomadic territory.

But this is what happens next.

Good job, Riley.  She goes right to the site the coyote marked just a few minutes earlier and covers it with her own scent.

Good job, Riley. The neighbors’ retriever goes right to the site the coyote marked just a few minutes earlier and covers it with her own scent.