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Wildlife and Other Sightings: Coyote...Ravens...and Sierra Dome Spiders

July 15, 2012 Posted by: BW - Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger

Coyote
Canis latrans

Coyote

July 14, 2012
Hodgdon Meadow Campground

At 8:30am a coyote passed near the Hodgdon Meadow Campground and upset two ground squirrels which began making loud alarm calls. This is probably the same coyote that has been making regular appearances at the Big Oak Flat Information Station and the Campground. However, it does not seem to be used to people and did not appear to be looking for human food.

Coyote
Canis latrans

July 15, 2012
Hodgdon Meadow Campground

The coyote appeared again this morning near the Hodgdon Meadow Campground. It was being chased by a group of at least three ravens who were not happy to have an opportunistic predator in the area. Their calls did not seem to affect the coyote much, as he sat by the edge of the road for a few minutes before moving silently back into the forest. 

Sierra Dome Spider
Neriene litigiosa

Sierra Dome Spider (close in image)  Sierra Dome Spider - image of dome/web

July 14, 2012
Hodgdon Meadow Campground

Sierra Dome Spiders are making their unique homes around the Hodgdon Meadow Campground. The messy webs have an elegant central dome structure and could remind you of the many dome-style tents in the campground. The spider, which has a white abdomen with a black pattern, hangs upside down from the center of the dome waiting to pull prey through the web.

Raven

Corvus corax

July 14, 2012
Hodgdon Meadow Campground

Ravens have been making quite a ruckus at the Hodgdon Meadow Campground. A group of three to five ravens begins each morning (around 5:30 am) by calling loudly and flying from campsite to campsite. The deep throaty chorus continues for quite some time, welcoming campers to early morning in Yosemite. It is likely that this group includes a few recently fledged ravens that are harassing their parents for breakfast. The Common Raven is a large black bird that is much more common in Yosemite National Park than the smaller American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos). Ravens are very good at utilizing human-altered landscapes and have aggressively expanded their range across the country, including into Yosemite.

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Did You Know?

Great gray owl (photo by Cameron Rognan)

In 90 years of serving Yosemite National Park, the Conservancy has seen many accomplishments. From restoring the habitat of the great gray owl to funding the first museum in the Valley, Yosemite Conservancy has played a vital role in the preservation and protection of Yosemite. More...