|Male coyote in front, female coyote in back.|
|Smaller male on left, female in center, larger male on right.|
|This is the female coyote. Her coat has a whitish cast and she has a dark dot below the center of her right eye.|
|This is a smaller male. He is also showing a furry sheath between his legs. Although it does not show in this photo, he has a black and white checkered triangle on his back near the withers area.|
|There was some howling going on.|
|Then the female went for a stroll.|
|The large male followed her. Notice that he also has a black dot midway down his right rear leg. The black dot on his tail several inches below the the base is the supracaudal or violet gland. Coyotes have many glands and dwell in a world of scents.|
|Probably not ready yet.|
|Time to move on. The female is to the right and is showing her vulva beneath her tail. The large male is in the middle and he is still checking her condition. The small male on the left is catching up to the pair.|
|The female continues,|
|the large male scratches, and the small male sniffs the ground.|
|While the large male enjoys his scratching, the small male urinates on the spot where the large male was standing when he was sniffing the female.|
|The large male notices the small male scent marking,|
|but they both decide to follow the female. Small male is on left; I am not sure what it means when he holds his tail out while moving.|
|Female coyote squats to urinate.|
|And then female coyote moves on again.|
|Large male follows, sniffing where she urinated to check on her condition again.|
|Small male also checks same spot.|
|Then the three coyotes travelled off into the brush. Now that I have used photos to recognize some distinct features on them, I hope to see them again. Can you tell whether the coyote in this photo is the large male, the female or the smaller male?|
Wolf Anatomy, Wolf Howl Organization.
Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation. George A. Feldhamer, Bruce C. Thompson, Joseph A. Chapman, editors. 2nd edition. John Hopkins University Press. 2003.
and thanks to a co-worker who knows a lot more about dogs than I do.