Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Coyotes, Eagles and Nutria

Leaping Coyotes! Today was the closest I've been to a coyote and I was pretty excited about it! There were two of them, both of which crossed the street in front of my car. The coyotes were seen towards the end of the driving route at Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge.

People tend to be intimidated by coyotes since they don't fear humans. These wild animals live in packs and are really quite smart. Coyotes will live where the food is, so if there is an urban population, this is usually due to a person making food available to them.

Nutria are considered an invasive species, but I still think they are super cute.

A song sparrow, I believe. After losing points in my ornithology class for getting a few sparrows' identification wrong, I have decided I don't care, unless they are an obvious white-crowned sparrow.

To the left we have a pied-billed grebe and the other two are coots. Coots were out in large numbers today. They look like simple water birds, but they have unique behaviors (and really bizarre feet!) Females will lay eggs in another coot's nests to take some of the reproductive burden off themselves. If they notice eggs not their own in their nest, they will put the eggs off to the side, and once hatched, kill the young not their own.

A mature bald eagle. It takes at least 3 years for the eagle to reach maturity and get the signature white head and tail. The eagles are starting to pair up for breeding season and many were seen in the refuge.


  1. I love Nutria too....the pirates called them River Rats!

  2. While Nutria certainly dominate Ridgefield, I believe yours is a Muskrat instead. Btw - cool blog!

    - Jade's co-worker, Rhett