Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Cauga una?

Oops! I forgot last week! Sorry! "That person who usually lurks" Got it right - the thing to the left (left side of the screen) is a coyote (Canis latrans). The yup'ik, Kayu, is borrowed from the kassacetun. Or, if it's not from English, it's a huge coincidence!
The coyote isn't endemic to Alaska, and to me, it's low population is somewhat of a mystery. Typically, when you get invasive species, they proceed to explode, frequently drowning out endemic species that fill a similar niche in the enviroment. Curiously, that's not what we've seen. Which makes me wonder a few things. Was there a species filling the coyotes niche that we don't see anymore? Were coyotes around an exceptionally long time ago, and left the niche vacant? Is there some factor limiting coyote population growth?

These are all questions I can't answer - obviously, because I wouldn't be wondering them if I could!

Here's this weeks':

I apologize the first one isn't in better focus. I'm just not fast enough with the camera, I guess! But here's a small hint: It's in Alaska, and it's not a Yellow Shafted Flicker.

3 comments:

William B Swift said...

It's probably a three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), or possibly a black-backed (P. arctus); I can't decide from the pictures, the three-toed in striped on the back like on the breast but you can't see the back in the photos; but my field guide suggests the three-toed is more common in AK than the black-backed.

gpc said...

I agree it looks like a woodpecker -- yellow crowned?

flying fish said...

Immature 3-toed woodpecker?