Coyote (Canis latrans) predation of colonial rodents facilitated by Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos)
Keywords:Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, Coyote, Coyote (Canis latrans), Black-tailed Prairie Dog, Cynomys ludovicianus, Grasslands National Park, interspecific competition, predation
Interactions between Coyote (Canis latrans) and Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) are complex and likely not yet fully documented or understood. I observed a Coyote prey on a Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) at the edge of a large colony in Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan. The prairie dogs were vigilant toward three Golden Eagles circling above, and the Coyote apparently used this to its advantage. As such, the eagles appeared to facilitate the ability of the Coyote to rush in virtually undetected and prey on a prairie dog that was distracted by the avian predators. This observation is of scientific interest because it is another example of the varied interactions between Coyotes and Golden Eagles, which is competitive and includes kleptoparasitism.
Copyright for Canadian Field-Naturalist content is held by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club, except for content published by employees of federal government departments, in which case the copyright is held by the Crown. In-copyright content available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library is available for re-use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence. For usage of content at the BHL for purposes other than those allowed under this licence, contact us.
To request use of copyright material, please contact our editor, Dr. Dwayne Lepitzki: editor -at- canadianfieldnaturalist -dot- ca