The Hunter and the Hunted

I had to do a little digging about whether a coyote would actually attack a pheasant. As it happens, it is not unheard of although a more likely predator would be a hawk, fox or owl. I believe the coyote was poised to take advantage of this opportunity but he didn’t linger too long after the bird flew up in the tree. Nature is amazing. So grateful to share these protected spaces with such wildly beautiful creatures. Full heart day 💚

12 Comments on “The Hunter and the Hunted

  1. What a scene to witness. I was wondering if the coyote was sniffing when its nose was up? Was it smelling the pheasant, I wonder? And was the bird holding still in the bush? You must have been marveling at it all.

    • Yes, it was! We watched the coyote sniffing into the air, nose to the sky. When it found him, it sat for a bit watching then circled before it left. The pheasant was watching it the whole time and it stayed in the tree quite awhile before resuming it’s foraging on the ground. Cool to see. And I was rooting for that pheasant the whole time so a happy outcome. This time ..

  2. Amazing photos. That coyote is more beautiful than the snarly one at Ridgefield in your previous post, must say. And what a gorgeous fowl is the pheasant; its feathers look like body armour.

    • Yes, the coyotes we regularly see at Nisqually all look healthy and well fed. The pheasant has been there for several weeks. Not only beautiful in his colorful armor but smart. They are released near Ft Lewis for hunting season and somehow this one found our refuge sanctuary. Hallelujah! He handled himself pretty well with this coyote so I hope he stays out of harms way.

  3. When I was in the 5th, 6th, and 7th grade our family lived by the Firing Center near Yakima. We had 20 acres of alfalfa and one of my chores was to move the sprinkler pipes. There were tons of pheasants, and they would fly up from their cover when I was walking through the fields and no matter how often it occurred it would always startle me. There were also a lot of hunters and when they shot pheasants, they did not pay attention to what was beyond, and our house was constantly peppered with buckshot during hunting seasons. One time I was standing outside with my mom watching and we were both peppered by a shot, and one actually broke the skin on the back of my hand so I guess I can claim I have been shot and lived through it. Sadly, it is rare to see any of these beautiful creatures now.

    • Somehow I can’t imagine hunting such a beautiful bird. Of course I feel that way about all of them. A couple years ago in the Skagit area I watched a hunter walk by me with two beautiful birds strung up and dangling over his shoulder. There are some things you can’t unsee.

    • I saw my first one up close and personal several weeks ago. They are walking works of art. Really spectacular patterns. Nisqually has been full of activity this winter!

  4. Thank you for these glorious shots! When I first moved to my rural home, we had loads of pheasants. They are long gone and I enjoyed seeing this one so much!

    • You are quite welcome, Bailey! I saw this guy a few weeks ago and was so glad it found the refuge. That’s one lucky (and beautiful) bird! Hope he continues to be free of harm. Close call today!

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