It was barely dawn when I noticed a coyote (Canis latrans) hunting in the pasture outside our bedroom window (Modoc County CA). Leonard and I watched Mr. Coyote for about 45 minutes as he stalked meadow mice near the house. The coyote pounced seven times catching three small rodents.
Coyotes mainly eat hares, rabbits, meadow mice, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats and insects. Being very adaptive mammals, coyotes will also eat fruits (they love our apples in the fall) and berries, carrion and even garbage. Although they usually hunt alone, coyotes will hunt in pairs or small groups when after larger prey such as a deer. Coyotes rely mainly on visual cues when searching for prey. Auditory cues are also important.
I did not observe magpies watching the coyote hunting in our pasture. However, as soon as the coyote caught a mouse, two magpies, seen in one of the pictures, immediately flew over to the coyote and attempted to “share” its mouse. The magpies were not successful.
Because it was dark and I was photographing through a double pane window, these pictures leave much to be desired. Nevertheless it was fun to watch the coyote hunt.