There has been no let-up in coyote sightings in the county, and this will only increase as coyotes are having their pups now.
Suzanne Stewart and her mother, Linda, of Green Bank, were traveling down Rt. 92 near John and Sara Casto's property when they spotted a coyote in the field.
I talked with Sara, who reported that a coyote had crossed in front of her car one day as she was coming out her drive-way. She asked John to check on their new baby pigs to make sure they weren't the attraction.ﾠThe pigs were fine, so maybe the coyotes were after the turkeys in the grazing allotment near the Casto's home.
On Monday of this week, John was headed out the drive around 3 p.m. and one, or the same, coyote crossed his path, and stopped and stared at him.
If you've ever been the object of a coyote's attention, then you know they give you the creeps!
On down Rt. 92, Brian Friel is doing his part to reduce the number of coyotes, although he said he thinks he has more luck than skill.
This time of year, the best way to call in a coyote is to use a "distressed pup" call.ﾠ This should work through August, when coyotes are tending to their young.
It has been recommended that one way to keep deer out of gardens or alfalfa is to put the body parts of one deceased deer in the pathway leading to the field or garden.
That trick may not hold true for coyotes, as Friel reports he was told that leaving a dead coyote lie, will only attract more.
But if you are a trapper, that would be a good thing.
Bluebird Trail Update
The summer nesting season for cavity nesters is in full swing and most all of the 22 birdhouses on the National Radio Astronomy Observatory property are occupied as of June 8
Tree swallows have taken over 14 nest boxes and are busy setting eggs or feeding young. This will be their one and only attempt for the summer as they start later than bluebirds and take a little longer. They compensate by having larger families, often five to six young, and are usually good parents. They guard the nest well and juveniles from last summer like to help out with feeding and protecting. When checking a swallow nest, it is not unusual to have five or six adult birds diving at the observer and protecting the family.
Four boxes are currently occupied by bluebirds and two of those should fledge within a few days. These are all re-nests or second attempts as most of the first attempts were lost to cold weather. At least three "second attempts" were lost due to predators. It seems a smart/hungry raccoon in the area destroyed two nests last week by climbing the steel poles, reaching in the box for the eggs and also killing one of the parent blues. A wing was found at each site. Mice, flying squirrels and snakes can also wipe out nests. Hawks and owls will take their share of adults and fledglings.
While the bluebird season here has not been very productive, there is still time for another nesting attempt. Last year's last nest fledged in mid-August.
Two more birdhouses are occupied by house wrens. As the tree swallows fledge and vacate houses, house wrens will move in and have late nests. Sticks inside a box are an indicator of wren activity.
In other observations, a third wood duck hen has shown up at the wastewater ponds with a family of 10 young. Together the three families started with about 30 young. They have been staying together at times and living cooperatively and that would seem to be a good way of guarding the young ducks. Only 12 young are left as predation has been intense from hawks, owls, turtles and crows. For the last two summers, one or two late families of wood ducks have arrived in early July.
One kestrel has been seen several times and may be nesting in the area.
No mountain lions have been seen!
What are you seeing out there?
Let me know.
Jaynell Graham can be reached at jsgraham@poc ahontastimes.com or by calling 304-799-4973.