And then they yip and yelp…

The coyotes yip just about every night.  Last night at 10:30, many nights at midnight.  The yipping is so high-pitched it sounds like they are injured.

The calls a coyote makes are high-pitched and variously described as howls, yips, yelps and barks. These calls may be a long rising and falling note (a howl) or a series of short notes (yips). These calls are most often heard at dusk or night… Although these calls are made throughout the year, they are most common during the spring mating season … When a coyote calls his pack together, he howls at one high note. When the pack is together, he howls higher and higher, and then they yip and yelp and also do a yi-yi sound very shrill with the howl.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote

Yesterday the roadrunner was in the yard; today I only heard the brrrr brrrr.  What does it eat when it’s still too cool for the lizards and snakes to be out?

A bird came up to my kitchen window to peck at its reflection.  It was smaller than a finch, with a nice long tail, gray with a black head; not just the top of the head, the whole head was black.  I cannot find it in my bird book.  (My mom’s Birds of North America is falling apart.  I probably should get one just for birds of Arizona.)  Neither could I find it online (birds of the Sonoran Desert).  Now I am starting to question my own memory.  (I wonder about my memory.  Have you ever felt that someone was sneaking into your house, moving items so that you’d think that you were going crazy?)  Maybe it really was a black-tailed gnatcatcher. 

Here is a (bad) photo of what I think is a gray flycatcher that I’ve been watching.  I‘m trying to practice with the bells and whistles on my friend’s camera that I’m taking to the Amazon, but it’s hard going. 

Does anyone know the name of these many flimsy single-winged, long-legged flies bouncing along my sliding glass doors?  They seem to have just hatched.  They seem to have no purpose (like bees pollinating or mosquitoes spreading malaria); I don’t even see birds eating them.

If I seem distracted, it’s because I’m trying to get together all of the stuff for my trip.  I just bought one of those money belts that you wear under your clothes ‘cause my friend says the ATMs in Iquitos are often out of money, and no one takes travelers checks.  After having my wallet ripped off on a bus last year in Vancouver (yes!  Canada!) I want to hide my cash.  I also bought 98% deet, but the doctor said that high a percentage often causes skin irritation, and my daughter had some leftover lemon eucalyptus oil, which Mary uses instead of deet, so I traded that in and got permithirin to bug-proof my clothes, but I got the spray and my daughter says the soak is easier so now I have to trade that in.  Two steps forward, one step back.  Did break down and buy a new copy of The Girl Who Played with Fire because I think it’ll keep me reading for awhile, and now I think I ought to pick up a new copy of The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon as maybe it’ll be appropriate (hah!)  I got a few used paperbacks at Bookman’s, but they don’t have anything that new.  One more day to countdown.

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2 Responses to “And then they yip and yelp…”

  1. James Says:

    What interesting wildlife you have around your house; it certainly makes for wonderful entertainment, Lynne.
    We had coyote living near the house last year. She catches all of the stray cats abandoned on our land. She killed at least one of our habituated gray foxes; and scared off the remaining four. A horned owl got one of her half-grown pups.
    The insect seems to be a crane fly. The bird with black head seems to be a fly catcher, feasting on the crane flies.
    Deet is a powerful poison that is absorbed into the skin.

  2. Rhonda R. Fleming Says:

    It is a type of crane fly (Tipula) – very common this time of year. They are nectar drinkers and you see them swarming around all the blossoms. Have a great trip!

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