Coyotes in San Francisco

We came upon this beautiful pair by chance, just as the sun was setting in the Presidio of San Francisco. They were alternately resting and hunting gophers in the tall grass. One of the coyotes was collared with an ear tag.

I photographed from a trail when we first spotted them, from a respectful distance with my tele lens, so as not to disturb. They were resting, ambling, yawning, nuzzling each other in the lazy afternoon.

We walked away to give them space, and as we were getting ready to leave the area, they crossed our path and hunted a quiet spot in the grass. The pouncing shots were taken at last light, using the car as blind (also w/tele lens).

Coyote in Tall Grass
Coyote in San Francisco Presidio

@coyoteyipps helped me positively ID the tagged coyote as the female. Check out coyoteyipps on Instagram and on the web for invaluable information on San Francisco’s coyotes. From her website:

This website reflects my 15 years of intense, careful, and dedicated field-work — empirical observations — all photo-documented without interfering or changing coyotes’ behaviors.

The landing page will take you to some great, educational videos on coyote behavior and what to know if you encounter them.

And … for more information on coyotes and ways to support coexistence with our native song dogs, be sure to visit Project Coyote:

Project Coyote is a national non-profit organization based in Northern California whose mission is to promote compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science and advocacy.

In the photos below, the male coyote was resting under a tree and chewing on some grass. 

The female was napping in a separate area when the male wandered over to her. Together, they had a short, exploratory excursion and seemed to be hunting, but made no leaps or moves.

Alpha Coyote Pair in San Francisco Presidio

This hunting series was shot using the car as a blind. I didn’t have much time to prep for the shots, and felt lucky to get these at all. The coyote did get prey on this hunt — a gopher.

Coyote in San Francisco
Coyote catching gopher in San Francisco Presidio

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