On Thursday, June 23, in the morning, I was on a hike with East Bay Casual Hiking Group out of Castle Rock Regional Rec. Area. We hiked to Borges Ranch Interpretive Center. As we were leaving the center, we say a coyote on the hillside. He was being dive-bombed by many birds. He must have been in their nesting area. He wasn’t at all bothered by the birds or us as we walked by.
Then on June 29, after the June 28 rain, I was hiking the north end of the Pleasanton Ridge. … I passed many very clear footprints on the trail. Could they have been a mountain lion? They were quite large, one image compares to my hand, and I have large hands. There were no nails and it looked like they were following deer tracks.
Anne Jarmuz, Pleasanton, California
Coyotes will often sniff their way through fields where birds (usually blackbirds) are nesting in large numbers, trying to locate the nests by smell so they can eat bird eggs and/or babies. The birds know this and will rage and rant and dive and scream at the coyotes. The coyotes, unfortunately for the birds, are well aware that this is all posturing and the birds can’t do anything to hurt them. As you say, they just ignore the birds.
Looks like a mountain lion print to me. Cat tracks leave no claw marks and it is the right size and shape. Mountain lions also pass through the area. You can Google a search for “mountain lion tracks.” If you compare your photo to the ones you find there, you will see that they match. http://bit.ly/n1TYUj Pretty neat! /Gary