Animal Guide Spagyric
.: COYOTE :.
Species: Canis latrans - Western Coyote
Secured: December, 2018 in Taos, NM
Parts Used: With the exception of the hide and skull, all parts where used
Method of Extraction: Advanced Alchemical lab processes combining Plant, Animal, and Mineral works to achieve the secretive Animal Alchemy
Correspondences: Mercurial, Lunar, Saturnian, The Fool Tarot
Highlights: Transformation, Initiation, Wisdom, The Wise Fool, Adaptation, Cycles of Death and Rebirth, Wisdom From Death, Opportunistic, Diversity, Open-Mindedness, Sense of Humor, The Jester/Comedian, Independence, Hidden Skills/Wisdom, Communication Skills, Creator, Trickster, Social Cooperation, Versatility, Desensitization, Maturity, Playfulness, Tactic.
Cunning. Intelligent. Wily. Thief. The Coyote has been a main theme in Native American lore for thousands of years. Usually misunderstood, the Coyote has been the bane of existence to ranchers for over a decade and has now become a "nuisance" to urban inhabitants due to their incredible adaptability to live very close to humans. We'll take a look at what makes the Coyote majestic, and why you have to get over yourself in order to understand why he's really an amazing teacher but one that perhaps does so in ways many have a had hard time understanding and accepting when he shows up.
The Coyote, Canis latrans, is native to North America with variants reaching as far south as Costa Rica. They are one of, if not the most, successful of all wildlife species due to it's adaptive and opportunistic qualities. It's also these abilities that have caused the Coyote to be seen as a menace to humans, with a full on war having been waged on him for well over a decade.
Besides their skills to survive and thrive, humans have been in part responsible for their success; because of our structures in modern urban and suburban areas, the Coyote has many places to live and there is no shortage of food when it comes to the amount of food waste humans provide. Although a predator, they're ability to scavenge through our human refuse creates a delectable dinner with more than enough rodents to also be part of their menu.
Our attempts to control their numbers and a desire to fully wipe them has all worked in the Coyote's favor. For over a decade, annoyed humans have gone as far as making futile attempts to "control" them through trapping, arial gunning, poisoning, hunting dogs, guns, and even killing contests, all of which have made momentary dents in their populations... but this is always short lived. Whatever the decline was in that decade has quadrupled since then. When the population is being aggressively controlled, Coyotes increase their reproductive rates by breeding at an earlier age, and produce larger litter with higher survival rates. Not only does their population bounce back quickly, this causes it to explode. The Coyote is here to stay.
In the plains, where prey is mostly rodent sized, Coyotes tend to be solitary outside of breeding season and when prey increases in size, they'll usually group and work together to hunt. When it comes to their new abode right beside humans, you'll see them around hunting alone because it's a buffet with everything being bite sized and readily available. Having an extensive diet is key to their success; rodents, large prey including livestock, small prey animals such as squirrels, lizards, rabbits, and fish, fruits and vegetables, insects, the occasional domestic/feral dog and cat, and now a new delicacy - human food waste. As long as there's food available with places to hide and rest, Coyote is sure to call it home. Although the a predator, Coyote can become prey to humans, mountains lions, grizzly bears, and wolves, with pups falling prey to larger raptors.
During breeding season, Coyotes begin their courtship up to two months prior to mating, providing lots of time for flirting and getting to know each other. Some pairs will maintain monogamy through long term pair bonding unless a death occurs with one of the alphas .
The breeding season typically peaks around the end of February through late March, depending on their location, with gestation averaging 58 to 63 days. In their natural environment, a litter can total up to 11 pups, and in urban locations numbers are harder to estimate, but it's assumed they will be larger due to an adequate supply of food. The young are cared for by the mother and sometimes by the father who would bring food for them, the mother, and sometimes by the young from previous seasons. Dens are usually an exclusivity during the raising of the young, and adults tend to sleep in places where they can be aware of their environment. The type of dens differ from location and in urban areas, they can be many types because they're provided with unnatural but splendid living options. The closer to food their dens are, the better the option for parents to stay and raise their litter. With humans nearby, not only is there never a shortage of food, but real-estate options are plentiful.
.:The Coyote Yip:.
Coyote is most notably recognized for it's yip and unlike their wolf relatives (who sport a long, slow, low howl), Coyotes exhibit shorter howls that break, rise and fall into yips and barks. Their calls can sound as though there is a pack of many although it's usually being carried by two or three, and a single Coyote can sound as several with an effect called the "beau geste" along with a variety of sounds that adds to this auditory illusion. Group yips are usually lead by the mated alpha pairs, with males mostly howling and females adding the yips. Other Coyotes, whom can be several miles away, will often contribute and join the chorus. One application for this ability is used as a specialized hunting technique that causes their prey stress, anxiety, and confusion; the animal will think that a Coyote is behind them and but can actually be right in front of it. Another is that it allows the Coyote to establish territory lines, and express agitation or danger to ones mate and young.
These eyes have seen it all. The Wise Fool.