Canada: Song Dog

September 2018

I’m a lean dog, a keen dog, a wild dog and lone,
I’m a rough dog, a tough dog, hunting on my own!
I’m a bad dog, a mad dog, teasing silly [photographers];
I love to sit and bay the moon and keep fat souls from sleep.
Not for me the other dogs, running by my side,
Some have run a short while, but none of them would bide.
O mine is still the lone trail, the hard trail, the best,
Wide wind and wild stars and the hunger of the quest.

– Lone Dog, Irene McLeod

Coyote, spirit of the prairies. What it is to hear them sing!

Coyote 22 Sept 2018

We live in a strange era where the grey wolf is saluted for its ecological importance, and its coyote cousin is often criticised for having the gall not to become endangered. Not a fair judgement. Science has shown that coyotes, too, are keystone predators who have widespread and fascinating influences on the rest of the natural web.

Coyote1 GNP Sept 18

As for wildlife watching value – well, who could ask for more? Coyotes greeting on wild prairie, ruffled by the wind, shadowed by a passing golden eagle.

Coyotes greeting

Golden eagle sask Sept 18

North America has rewritten the book on wolf genetics, and there will probably be more surprises in the future. Current understanding is that the coyote, red wolf and eastern wolf are all close relatives and ancient North American natives. The grey or timber wolf is a relatively recent arrival from eastern Russia. It would have entered North America through the lost land bridge of Beringia, arriving in what is now Alaska.

It is strange that the coyote did not return the favour and migrate into the old world. We have an ecological equivalent – the golden jackal – but no coyote.

But it’s no hardship to travel to this beautiful land to hear them sing.

Coyote2 GNP Sept 18

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8 thoughts on “Canada: Song Dog

  1. Adele, I’m with you on the Coyote! I love to see them and hear them! We have a small troop living in our suburban/rural area! We hear them often in the evening singing to their lost souls! One doesn’t often see them but when we do it’s special! Power to the Coyote!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is good to hear them while on foot. They sound much more excited than wolves.

      I wish I’d had the chance to listen to jackals in Croatia – it would have been interesting to compare. But, they didn’t talk much, at least not when I was out on surveys there.

      Like

      1. I’ve been in Croatia so many times (part of my family lives there), hiked through its mountains and forests and I’ve never ever heard or seen a jackal. Not even a bear or wolf. This is how lucky you were to see them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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