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Coyotes in Panama. Very different from the ones you've seen on this blog.

Coyotes in Panama. Very different from the ones you’ve seen on this blog. 

A few years ago, I noted that it wouldn’t be long before coyotes crossed the Panama Canal. I even made an April Fools prank that coyotes had even made it to Colombia.

It turns out that these animals are pretty darn hard to parody, because it turns out that an article recently published in the journal Checklist has documented their presence beyond the canal.

They are now South America bound. If they do make it to Colombia they will be the first wild Canis to be in found in South America since the dire wolf went extinct.

Researchers found that Panamanian coyotes prefer to inhabit cattle ranching areas, mainly because those areas are also where cougars and jaguars have largely been extirpated. The also readily prey upon poultry, calves, and small dogs in these areas.

The coyote now ranges from Labrador to Alaska south to Panama.

Right now, there are only two species of canid that can be found in both North and South America:  the bush dog, which could be a potential competitor for the southbound coyotes, and Urocyon gray fox, which has been given top billing on this site in recent months.

I would almost put my money that one day there will be three. Canis latrans keeps pushing the boundaries of what we think we know about it.

They aren’t just survivors.

The are thrivers.

We kill off the big predators, and they sail in to exploit the new niches that are opened up.

We’ve come up with all sorts of creative ways to kill them, and they’ve just expanded– almost to spite us.

And you have to admire that.

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A few weeks ago I came across some gray fox tracks in the sand. They were very small, as you can tell by the comparison with the SD card.

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(Don’t give me hell for where the SD card was made!)

I’ve been trying for two weeks to get one of these young gray foxes on trail cam video, but I haven’t had any luck.

Until this week:

Source.

Raccoon selfie

This week’s trail cam feature.

raccoon selfie

The hay is cut

The hay was cut today, which means that this week’s trail cam pics could be very interesting. Cutting hay generally is an attractant to predators and scavengers that come looking for things that got cut up in the blades of the machines.

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The babies grow

The ducklings of many colors have continued to thrive.

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Into the brooder

The little duck I found in the weeds didn’t do so well on the water. It wouldn’t forage and swim with the rest of the clutch. It probably didn’t imprint very well on its mother, because an egg was seen in the nest early yesterday after the others had moved to the pond. This morning there was no egg. 

That means that this one was a late hatcher.

My dad managed to catch the duck with a snow shovel on the pond, and it’s now in the brooder to recuperate.

It hasn’t eaten yet, but it’s no longer shivering.IMG_9697

 

 

We’ll see how it goes.

 

 

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Three times this duck has set on the nest. And twice it has ended in the nest being burgled.

But this third time she hid her nest really well, deep in the tall grass.

And now we have babies!

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Of many colors!

Phil has flown the coop, but these are his children.

Yesterday, there were five, but this morning when I went out to take pics, there was a cheeping sound in the tall grass near the nest.

After digging around a bit in the grass, I found some down. 

And the down moved.

And I pulled this thing out of the grass:

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I got it back with the rest.

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