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Published on Apr 16, 2016
On April 7th, 2016, I had just finished filling one of my water bowls placed at various locations in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. A pair of Coyote were heading for a drink when they spotted me still in the area. They hesitated before leaving allowing me to get a few seconds of video. I then proceeded on to the next water location in this wash. I came upon the same pair of Coyote and began shooting stills and video of this encounter. The male is eating what appears to be a Cottontail he has just killed. The female is laying down nearby. After eating most of the rabbit the male moves away allowing the female to approach the skimpy leftovers. They both finish eating the entire rabbit leaving not a single scrap. The female then approaches the male who is now laying down. She makes a playful poke with her front paw against his hind quarters. He stands up and she attempts to initiate a sexual encounter by bumping her hind quarters against his side and leaving her rear pointed in his direction. He shakes his head as if to say no. Evidently the camera is not to his liking. They move off up the wash and I attempt to follow. My actions disturb a Long-eared Owl I had not seen. The bird flies over the pair of Coyote before returning to fly by the camera in the other direction. The Coyote continue walking away and leave the wash for parts unknown. (A bit of plant material may be seen hanging from the female's chest. It is not anything to be concerned about. Personal experience from laying down in the wash has left many a thorny branch stuck to clothing.) Note: Some actions would have preferably been shot in video rather than stills. Switching the camera from still photography to video takes a few seconds. A lot of actions can be lost if the switch is made. Staying in single frame mode to capture a sudden burst of activity is best most of the time. The female's overture for sex might not have been captured at all if the single frame mode was switched to video.