But for the sake of their survival as a species, history suggests that animals are much better off if they have adapted to us at least to the point of knowing to flee or hide from us when they encounter us alone in a dark alley of trees.

Very true.

Have had the opportunity to live in close and long proximity, though, to healthy, non-trash-adapted wild animals who had gotten familiar-ish with humans without getting tied up with them – and what I’ve seen is that some really do analyze individuals over time and come to varying determinations about them (coyotes especially). May have to write more about that.

Massive affection for the redtails, who do well pretty much everywhere (except highways).

Now that I’m further north than I was and on the edge of a much larger expanse of real wilderness, I’m seeing a lot more ravens, more peregrines – fewer redtails and bald eagles. Wolf tracks, no coyotes (I’m sure they’re nearby, just not within howling distance). Foxes. Lots more weasel-family critters, the same amount of deer.

And of course, moose.