Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's a coyote

We'd just gotten off the freeway near the mall, and were near our car in the asphalt lot of a park. "It's a coyote," my daughter said, looking over my shoulder. I turned around and sure enough, in broad daylight, a coyote trotted across the street during a break in the cars, and then bounded up the slope beyond us, doing stiff-legged jumps through the high grass.

Comfy coyote
photo by SigmaEye on Flickr
There are ancient stories of the cunning of coyotes. Northwest Indians, like some tribes in other parts of the country, share stories about Coyote the Trickster. He possesses varying degrees of good or evil, depending on the tribe, but is always a brash character who tricks, bribes, cajoles, and manipulates.

There are modern stories about the cunning of coyotes. Despite bounties, trapping, poison and other "predator controls," the coyote's range has been steadily increasing. As wolves were killed off in this country, coyotes moved into their niche. As forests were converted into croplands and suburban communities, coyotes took advantage of the newly opened spaces. As dense forests were clearcut, and logging roads created links between them, coyotes learned to travel them.

And, there's at least one cunning coyote who hangs out in a park not far from the freeway and the mall.


  1. Or she may have been just traveling through, looking for a den and a dude, though the area probably DOES have lots of food and hiding places.  Maybe she'll learn how to use the MAX to commute.  

    All I know for sure is that indoor cats rarely get eaten by coyotes.

  2. Every once in a great while we see a coyote. Not hanging out but usually briskly walking from one place to another, quickly out of sight.

  3. We've even heard reports of coyote sightings here in suburban Atlanta. So, environmentally speaking, is this a good thing or not?

  4. Coyote are encroaching into east TN from rugged sections of middle TN; they've been spotted in western Knox County. I believe a coyote killed one of my cats, but that's speculation. I called him Purrcimus Maximus Americanus. Purrcy was a lazy big boy who never backed down from any animal; he always fought while his brother always flew. Keeping chicken coops is growing here; prime munchy for the crafty coyote, but I haven't seen one yet. Julius Minimus Americanus is still with us.

  5.  1)Watch the movie Wolfen. :)
    2)Coyotes and Bullfrogs are surviving in the environment we are providing for them, it might be that a predator based society inadvertently  rewards juinor predators who can slip between the cracks, but still punishes larger predators like wolves, bears, and big cats.
    3)It would not surprise me if coyotes are now found in all 49 land based states.

  6. An interesting tale of how animals survive. Coyotes aren't too different than human beings who also infiltrate and take advantage of whatever is available to nourish and continue their species.  As our population continues to spiral out of control, so will the survival desperation of our animal co-inhabitants of the planet.  We are not alone.  So how do we co-exist equably with the needs of creatures we depend on to provide our natural fauna?

  7. Great post! I see one (or two) almost every day, either at work or headed for work. They love these nice, green farming fields where they can look for rodents. I'm always happy to see them...especially out here where people seem to shoot at everything that moves.