Are Coyotes Always in Packs?

The Question: I was northbound on 71 this afternoon, south of Grove City, Ohio the only hilly part of the trip from Jeffersonville to Columbus. I glanced to the right and saw a canine descending the hill. I couldn’t decide – coyote or fox until I got home to the Internet – even though I was pretty sure it as a coyote. I am pretty sure it was not just a stray dog. Granted, it would have been nearly impossible (at 70 mph!) to see if there were others lurking further up the hillside but most references list coyotes as pack animals. Are they often solitary since they are fairly recent immigrants or did I make an identity mistake?

Submitted by: Karen S., Ohio

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Why is a Robin Hovering Around a Cardinal’s Nest?

The Question: We have a bird nest in our backyard that was made by a cardinal. Recently, we noticed that a robin seems to be hovering around the cardinals’ nest. The cardinals seem upset by this, and seem to work as a team to keep the robin at bay. Can you explain what is going on?

Submitted by: Laura R.

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Why Don’t Ducks’ Feet Freeze?

The Question:
Why don’t the feet of a duck  (seagull, goose, or other winter bird) freeze when they spend the night apparently sleeping on ice in sub-zero temperatures?  Also, do you know if they stand on one foot and then the other going back and forth as a strategy to help with this?

Submitted by: Ken L., Milwaukee, WI

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Are Snakes Useful?

The Question:Are snakes useful to humans?  And what role do they play in nature?

Submitted by: John L., Texas (John found three beautiful rat snakes when he lifted a tarp on some stored wood. When he posted his photos on FaceBook with enthusiasm, he was shocked that so many people responded by saying, “Kill them!!” Thanks to John for the picture printed below.)

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