Climate Change or Coyotes?

Yes Martha, there are things far worse then a Coyote attacking our family pet! Readers who follow this blog know that its material comes primarily from major media and internet stories (both authenticated and unauthenticated).  So here we go – Lets all take a deep breath, relax and keep an open mind.  No matter what is causing it . . . .  climate change is a fact!  Example: looking back this week major news media reported the Arctic Ice is at the second lowest level in satellite history.  STOP!  Satellite history is limited when compared to written history let alone the time the earth has revolved around the sun.  All type of facts are available from multiple sources and depending on your personal interpretation can be devastating or uplifting.  So yes, the climate is changing but at what rate?  The speed of climate change appears to be increasing and most would agree the growing human population in all probability – has some impact on the rate of climate change.  There, I said it and you will make of it what you will.  I say climate change is probably worse then a Coyote attacking our family pet!

Well? The point to consider is that as the climate does indeed change what individual impact does it have on us? Begin with food sources . . draught or flooding will destroy your food source.  Shelter . . many homes have been destroyed by both draught (fires) and flooding.  With out food and shelter we humans become scavengers.  Sound familiar?  In addition to being hunters Coyotes are scavengers. As its territory expands and contract a Coyote’s focus turns from hunting to scavenging.  What ever opportunity is presented to the Coyote will be maximized, the Coyote’s life depends on food and shelter.  So you saw a Coyote sneaking around your back fence?  Food and shelter is on the Coyote’s mind as it wonders your neighborhood.  Unlike humans the Coyote can not rebuild and replant so it leaves to find a sustainable environment.  You want the Coyote gone, eliminate its food and shelter.  Hmm . . We humans may want to reconsider our priorities eh?

Between March 15th and March 26th 2018 there have been 14 public reports of Coyote problems, the majority along the east coast with several from New York.  Regardless of where the reader lives if you haven’t had a Coyote problem it is only a matter of time before it happens.  Knowing that Coyote problems are occurring residents would be well advised to prepare for the eventuality of meeting up with the four legged varmint.  Knowing that climate change is happening now is the time to take precautions, throw an extra blanket and couple of bottles of water in the car before you take a trip.  Keep that cell phone charged and consider keeping an emergency battery pack charged up as well.  This year it seems the weather has been relentless on the East Coast and the number of citizens without power has to be at an all time high.  Amazingly, no reported Coyote sightings have been made since the winter storms  . . or have they?  As for Coyotes your choice of defensive tools could be a hand held air-horn or the old reliable 12 gauge.  The latter is my anti-Coyote choice though my neighbors take a dim view on loud sounds in the middle of the night.  NOTE: Rabid Coyotes don’t respond to air horns but the 12 gauge will stop them dead in their tracks – so to speak.

OK so far we have climate change and Coyotes – how are they related you ask? Coyotes are in our neighborhoods and no one can explain why.  The Coyote population is growing in our neighborhoods but no one seems to know how fast the Coyote population is growing. Yes, different localities seem to have varying speeds of Coyote population growth. Open the local newspaper or tune into the evening news show and various pundits will state that this or that is the way to alter climate change.  Some local animal experts report that Coyote control is best achieved through trapping and is more humane while others advocate termination which is more expedient and definitive.  No one has figured a solution to climate change and Coyotes peering out from under the brush near the driveway have no fear of us.

It is said that all politics are local. How about varmint control?  The Federal Wildlife authorities have taken action with a degree of success in the western states. Some other areas over seen by those authorities have suffered collateral damage in the form of live stock and or family pets.  The local communities have a better perspective on their need for varmint control and with the help of local citizens, can limit Coyote run-ins.  Notice I said “limit,” too many well intentioned folks just have to feed the wild life!  Once we get around those supporting wild life in the neighborhoods Coyotes will be motivated to look for other friendly environments.  Recapping here – Climate change is still going on and I just got another trail camera photo of a local Coyote.  On a positive note, the local drought seems to have diminished the number of Coyote tracks behind the back fence.  On the other hand, it looks like my summer water bill is going to be quite a bit higher!

Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam

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Warm fires

Tonight was my night to cook and grilling a steak sounded like a good thing even though it is still mid winter in northern New Mexico. The night skies here are really clear, the stars shine bright!  While watching the last of the setting sun and dreading the cold of the ensuing darkness I decided a fire in the fire pit would be the perfect idea while managing my cooking.  Now a gas fire pit doesn’t have the ambiance of the camp wood fires I experienced as a youth or later on in early married life.  These days I have to resort to wood chips to add the missing scent of pinion, oak or juniper.  And too, wood fueled fires pop as the wood is consumed.  Occasional embers float up from the fire and are carried away on breezes then dying some few feet out.  The wood chips would do the same tonight though natural gas is now used to create the heat.

On a parallel note- most folks seem to wait until it is time to cook before brushing off their grill, bad move! How many out there clean their BBQ grills? Here is another consideration for you, what about the drip pan?  Over the years I have migrated from charcoal to natural gas for a lot of different reasons but specifically the ease of cooking and clean up.  Some of my early grills were a simple barrel cut in half with a heavy screen cook top heated by a wood fire.  The wood went the way of the buggy whip.  I quickly replaced the wood with charcoal.  But just like later propane tanks, I couldn’t remember to keep my supplies in stock!  Long story short, natural gas was more convenient.

On to my story – As I gazed out across the desert I thought I saw a shadow moving through the ocotillos and sage brush, something was skulking about. I knew what it was without seeing it in detail, a Coyote.  Regular readers will know I harp about keeping your home surroundings clean but looking back on my admonitions I don’t see anything about BBQ grills.  Time out!  Where is this conversation going?  Well . . .out door grills retain cooking odors and quite often, food debris.  Most grills set up off the ground have covers BUT even days later will emit the scent / odors of what was cooked.  Hello, Coyote attractant!  Here is the bottom line.  Don’t just burn the grill off.  After the grill temperature is low enough get out there and give the cook top a good scrubbing, don’t leave anything on the cook top.  Next, check to see if you have any drippings on the bottom of the fire pit.  It is messy work but something that will diminish a hungry Coyote’s hunger pains to visit your yard.  Aluminum foil works really well in the bottom of your BBQ grills, it keeps all the debris from cooking in one contained spot!  When done grilling just wrap the foil and discard every thing into a closed trash can.

You are welcome. Stay tuned there is more to come on the Coyote Cam!

Lets feed the wildlife – or not!

Stop feeding the Wildlife! Sound familiar?

As an interested party in all things Coyote I use an aggregation program to scan the internet looking for articles about this predator. A recent article comes from the Chicago Tribune entitled, Slowik: Stop feeding coyotes, authorities tell Southland residents by Ted Slowik dated Jan. 16th, 2018.  The article and many other before it reiterate the advice to well meaning but highly misguided folks to stop feeding the wildlife.  In part, the practice of feeding wildlife encourages interaction between wildlife and humans.  This blog has reflected on many instances wherein people have knowingly and unknowingly fed wildlife.  Several humans in the course of feeding Coyotes have sustained serious bites and the animal later destroyed.

Let us examine the activity of feeding animals in general, no it doesn’t include Bigfoot.Bigfoot Warning Most of us have hand fed our pets.  Right?  Did you know there is a right way to feed treats?  Never offer anything to a pet using your extended fingers!  Place the treat into the palm of your hand and place your open palm under the pet’s muzzle.  Why?  The pet will use its tongue to pull the treat out of your open palm.  Otherwise, using your fingers to feed treats will encourage your pet to use its teeth to pull the treat to its mouth.  Now, a lot of folks tend to be skittish and will pull back when confronted with pet teeth – this causes the pet to aggressively pursue the treat.  Bitten fingers usually result from this method of treat feeding!  Meanwhile, your pet wonders why you are growling at it while holding your bleeding fingers in your now clenched fist!  Not a good thing!

Only a fool would hand feed treats to a wild animal. Nonetheless, there are fools that firmly intend to see that the wild life doesn’t starve to death!

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The “Good Samaritan” leaves pet food by game trails or just throws some morsels over their back fence.  Lets not forget that canines especially those that hunt for a living have a sense of smell many times more powerful then humans.  Additionally, humans leave their scent on everything they touch.  A Coyote will associate the human scent with food and using that exemplary sense of smell literally find its next home – yours.  First and worse of all is that it imprints on the animal that humans are not to be avoided, humans provide food.  Next, the human provided food is always there – no hunting required.  Pet food is usually found in or near pet food bowls typically just a few steps from the human’s back door!  Oh – and along those game trails too.  The best buffet for a Coyote are the unsecured, loosely covered garbage cans.

Coyote Garbage Can

Several days of assorted foods found in garbage cans is great stuff for a hungry Coyote plus it is another easy hunt, no sweat.  So – humans equal easy food.  This action is dangerous to both animal and human!The Coyote isn’t the problem! The Coyote is doing what he/she does to get by in this world, they are hunting for food.

You may just attract the attention of something a tad bigger then a Coyote

Grizzly Warning

Don’t feed the Wildlife!

Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.

There is a season –

Hi - Im just passing throughFirst, a disclaimer is required here. This writer has always been an outdoor sportsman which includes hunting and fishing.  In conjunction with being an outdoor sportsman we all need to recognize that predators come in all sorts of packages; fin, fowl and animal (both the two legged and four legged varieties).  It is my belief that good stewardship includes land as well as wildlife!  A well maintained wildlife environment provides a shelter against encroaching humans and conversely, predators from wondering neighborhoods.

The end of 2017 saw an uptick in the number of Coyote attacks, a lot of those attacks were fatal to family pets. This blog has long talked about the number of Coyotes being encountered in usually non-wildlife areas (think neighborhoods here).  This blog has recounted the number of state, county and city agencies discouraging folks from feeding wild life yet a few people still see mangy Coyotes as hungry and in need of feeding.  Television and newspapers note with regularity the number of Coyote and human pet interactions in gruesome details.  One would think the Coyote is right up there with national enemy number 1.

Conversely, there are a number of groups through out the United States that advocate saving the Coyote.  Just this past Sunday in the Albuquerque Journal a column entitled Coyote-killing contest riles some might suggest that stopping cruel and insensitive Coyote killing contests ought to be the law as it is in some other states.  OK, lets not paint all citizens with one brush.  We are not all trying to save the Coyote – ask any pet owner who has witnessed their family (member) pet being killed by a Coyote.  The majority of those folks see a need to eradicate the neighborhood Coyotes.  Leave the city limits and there will be another person that has no need of the Coyote, those in the agricultural industry.  Farmers and ranchers not only loose family pets to Coyotes but they loose a part of their income to Coyote predation.  Cattle and sheep fare the worse loses due to Coyote attacks because currently, there are few other predators other wise – losses would be far greater! As any veterinarian can attest, Coyote attacks are often expensive to treat.  A sheep or cow being much larger becomes even more expensive to treat.

Why has the Coyote become so infamous – in one word, humans. An ever growing population of humans is forcing wildlife into smaller and smaller parcels of land.  Humans have paved roads into the lands once dominated only by wildlife.  These roads create a quasi type of wildlife fence, cross it at the wrong moment and death is instantaneous.  Those lands parceled by roads are also drained thereby eliminating sources of drinking water for wildlife as well the environment of water fowl.  Wetlands, once home to water fowl are fast becoming construction sites.  Say what you will, we humans are the ones encroaching on wildlife!  OK, the point of no return has not been reached . . . yet!  There are still areas where wild life abounds but that area is diminishing in size every day.  The last place a Coyote wants to be is out on a ranch or farm, their life spans are limited out there!  Much safer are the city neighborhoods where humans provide food that doesn’t have to be hunted and shelter that doesn’t require preparation or maintenance.  Go ahead and leave those pet food bowls outside, be sure the backyard fountains are running and by all means don’t bother covering those garbage cans.  Birdfeeders should be filled to over flowing so not only birds but squirrels come to visit.

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Your bird feeder is empty but you want have to worry about the cat

Thanks for your readership!

Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam

Halloween Horror?

Mange

Wait – What was that animal slinking about in the brush there?  Some kind of dog or was it a Coyote?  Ether must be in terrible pain! There was something really wrong, it had no fur.  Worse yet, its skin was flaky and horrible looking.  A distinct odor settled in as the unfortunate animal ran away, the sores on its body stinking beyond belief!  Could it be an undead creature looking for a life to replace the one it lost?  More and more animals are walking around suffering from mange, a common parasite infestation found mostly on canines.  Only in this case the parasite problem is out of control!  Most canines are born with some parasites.  Puppies are at higher risk of infection though mange during their first year because of an under developed immune system.  However, mange can and does occur later in life in a canine’s life.  There are two types of mange, Sarcoptic and Demodectic.  The first – a result from an out of control parasite while the second form occurs due to changes in the animal’s health.  Most often older canines develop mange but the skin deterioration is also due to hormone imbalances and or cancers.  Either form of manage is a reason to keep your animals on a leash.  Mange can be found in the soil so while a leash can help prevent your animal from coming into contact with a diseased animal it may not totally prevent your pet from walking through contaminated environments.  Oh!  Yes – humans can contract mange if in contact with either a sick animal or exposure to parasite infested areas.  Still sleeping with your pup? 

The cure for manage- keep your pets clean with regular brushing.  Pets may resist but wash them on a regular basis.  Be sure to check every inch of their bodies particularly the folds of skin around ears, shoulders and flanks.  Be sure your pets remain healthy, vets can help spot problems early and treat them as needed.  Should a need arise for topical ointments your vet can guide you in selection and application.  On a parallel thought – As we age we sometimes forget our pets are aging as well, aging pets can’t tell you they hurt.  Older pets are susceptible to manage as much or more so once again it is important to pay attention to their health and any loss of fur.

Old Dog 

Our regular coverage of Coyote attacks:  The Denver area has seen a rise in Coyote attacks against small animals, even over six-foot fences.  One resident lost her Miniature Doberman Pincer, the tall six-foot fence didn’t slow the Coyote down at all.  Meanwhile, another owner watched as her seventeen-year old cat was snatched right off a front porch.  It can never be stressed enough our pets are viable food sources for wild animals.  The sad part is that pets really don’t know the difference between friend and foe until it is too late.  Dogs have been seen playing with Coyotes or at least what was assumed to be play.  In the case of the older cat it may have considered the skulking Coyote just another neighborhood dog roaming through the front yard.  Pet owners need to provide their pets as much oversight as is possible.  In order of importance; Pet feeding bowls cleaned and kept inside at night, all bird seed removed, potential animal dens destroyed and last but not least, keep pets on a leash!  Walk your pets early to mid-day, Coyotes like to feed during evening hours but never assume there isn’t a Coyote nearby!   

 That’s it for October Coyote Fans!  Stay Tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam 

Pack or Family Hunting Unit?

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It appears someone in Arlington Heights, Ill thinks they need to support their local wildlife – WRONG!  Neighbors are up in arms as one of their own is suspected of feeding “home cooked meals” then leaving said  meal under a nearby tree for the local Coyotes.  What is wrong with these folks? It is not just this Blog warning about the problems with desensitizing Coyotes but many state ordinances do prohibit the feeding of wildlife for that very reason.  The ideal situation is to haze or make the Coyote’s life miserable hoping that it will seek other locations for their feeding and den sites.  Maybe some law abiding citizen in that neighborhood has their home security cameras trained on the tree drop off.  Lets help stop well intended BUT totally misguided folks from doing the wrong thing – Do Not Feed The Wild Life!

Unfortunately, in Northern New Jersey (Saddle River) a woman was out walking her dog one evening this month when confronted by a “pack” of Coyotes.  The article does not describe how many Coyotes were in the pack but suffice it to say the word “pack” suggests there were more then two.  Here in the southwest Coyotes do not normally hunt in packs but rather family groups (four to five) specifically during this time of the Coyote’s life cycle.  Coyote parents are teaching their pups/youngsters to hunt thus their numbers might suggest a pack.  The article does not mention what type of Coyote comprised the “pack.” Another intriguing problem on the east coast is that the standard Coyote there is a good deal heavier then the standard Coyote found here in the southwest.  Add to that larger size an even larger Coyote easterners refer to as a “Coywolf” (65% Coyote, 25% Wolf and 10% Dog) and now the animal becomes very intimidating!  Thus, these two factors, the size and number of animals confronted would cause anyone to be alarmed let alone an older woman walking her small dog at twilight.

Coywolf PNG

– Coywolf –

Just to remind everyone reading this issue – be prepared when you go out for a walk with or without your pet. Even if you don’t require a cane to walk get into the habit of carrying a big stick for those daily/evening walks!  Most animals met on the street (with the exception of the two-legged variety) are frightened by something larger then they are – waive your “big stick” and arms in the air, yell “go away.”  Keep yelling and waiving your arms pretty soon the animal will retreat or run off plus you stand a fair chance of attracting other humans to your predicament.  Anything that makes a lot of noise is good thing too, some one mentioned canned-air horns!  A coach’s whistle will work and may be a tad less expensive in the long run.  Believe it or not a soda can filled with rocks makes a great rattle noise and has been used to scare off Coyotes.

That brings this week’s edition of the Coyote Cam to a close. Be sure to look for the upcoming edition of the Coyote Cam when we look into recent sightings of “Zombie Dogs.”  Yes, ghosts and hobgoblins are not scheduled until later during Halloween but apparently these apparitions are making an early appearance!

Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.

What was that brown blur?

Summer is on its way out though there is a bit more warm weather remaining. The calendar says we are midway through August yet September looks to be a carbon copy of these past few day’s temperatures.  Fortunately, this area has began receiving moisture as “Monsoon” type rain which uplifts the dry hot desert making it more livable for humans. The amazing New Mexico pale orange / purple / rust colored sunsets are growing shorter and the cooler evenings more enjoyable making an evening libation shared with friends taste all the better.  The high desert flora; mesquite, cactus, and ocotillo are past their maximum  bloom but still manage to draw honey bees and hummingbirds looking for nature’s sweet offerings.  The Coyotes, less timid now, make frequent trips past my back gate in their daily quest for food.  On this day one pauses to see if any bothersome humans are nearby.  Accustomed to these regular forays I cast a quick glance to the gate and catch the Coyote checking on us.  He is on his way before I can call out his presence to the group, slinking off through the underbrush beyond the little hill and down into the arroyo.  The lone Coyote is gone, nothing but a surreal image blending into the rays of the setting sun.  However, not before my trail camera has captured his photograph.  telephoto-cropped

Reports of Coyote encounters continue from coast to coast and border to border, sightings occurring round the clock. Some reports even contain cell phone photographs of the offending Coyote. Many of the reports from journalist are only looking to help fill space while others do their research and offer their readers legitimate insight into the life of a Coyote. What is missing are the reported sightings from ranchers and farmers – why don’t they have the same level of Coyote nuisance as their urban counterparts?  Ranchers and farmers don’t complain about these problems, they fix the problem and I don’t mean neutering either!  Urban dwellers typically don’t have the flexibility their rural cousins can exert toward Coyote resolution.  Most media guidance suggest residents follow the normal routines for varmint control, keep a clean yard in and around the home.  When confronted by a Coyote attempt to scare them off says many of the reports being submitted by the national and local media.  The reports that provide sound guidance are usually the ones that include an interview with a local government wildlife agency, the experts know how to prevent varmint encounters and resultant interactions.  What continues to happen and which will defeat all attempts toward peaceful varmint eradication are those well meaning but misguided individuals that feed the wildlife.  Coyote sightings / encounters will continue thanks in large part to those who drop a handful of dog food on trails while hiking or encourage Coyotes to drink from their golf course water cups.  Encouraging wild life to accept close proximity to humans is detrimental to all concerned be it Coyotes or Grizzly Bears!

An interesting side note here – In today’s email there appeared a notice from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish detailing their upcoming public meeting to be held in Albuquerque.  The first item on the agenda is “Wildlife Complaints.”  Coyotes are not the only urban problem!  More and more feral hogs are ripping through farms and home owner lawns lying adjacent to the Rio Grande River. Depending on the reader’s locality determines which species (or all) of wildlife is wreaking havoc with the reader’s environment.  Every one is a stakeholder in this endeavor!  Each and every one has a responsibility to pay attention to their surroundings.

In a similar parallel – two footed predators prey on those whose headphones prevent the wearer from hearing the approaching attack. Folks just walking down the street while watching a video have been killed as they blindly walk into traffic.  Lack of attention is not an excuse! Where is this going you might ask? Walking out the front door look around the yard or street.  What do you see?  Same old stuff that has been lying around for awhile?  Was that hamburger bag laying on the street chewed up this morning?  New folks showing up in the neighborhood?  If the flower bed has been torn up what caused it? What was that critter darting around the corner just now?  Know your surroundings, get to know your neighbors and finally –  pick up anything that might represent food to paws, claws and talons.  Take off the headphones, put the cell-phone in your pocket and enjoy your surroundings.  You might just catch a glimpse of a Coyote!

I appreciate your stopping by to read about Coyotes and other things. Have a great week and remember –

Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam.


“Its a Great Life”

Injured Coyote given aid by Arizona golfer?  What’s wrong with this picture? EVERYTHING!  It is good to render aid to sick and injured animals but there must be a point where the professionals are called.  The Coyote pictured does not appear to be injured.  In the above story nothing is said by those on the site of the Coyote encounter about calling the authorities for help.  The Coyote in the video is obviously not afraid of humans.  The golfers attempt to give the Coyote a drink of water.  But wait folks, this encounter with the Coyote takes place on a golf course!  SO – how much water is used on a golf course?  A lot, a whole lot of water is required to keep golf courses lush and green!  How many golf courses contain water hazards? Most every golf course I have been fortunate enough to play has had a water hazard.  Granted, many courses in the southwestern United States only have water hazards when it rains.  None-the-less, golf course water sprinklers provide moisture to birds / animals living on a golf course with far more water then those located in urban or rural lands!  Yes, that includes those golf courses using re-cycled sewage water as well.  What is the significance of a close encounter with a Coyote by two golfers at mid-day?

It is not just a close encounter with a Coyote on a golf course, it is the multiple reports of close encounters with Coyotes at all times of the day through out the United States!  From Auburn Hills Michigan to San Francisco California Coyotes are growing bolder by the day!  Coyotes do not typically approach humans, they are by nature shy and reserved only coming out to hunt for food or water.  That is until Coyotes encounter charitable, well meaning but badly misguided humans such as the hiker in San Francisco. This author has read and examined interactions between humans and wild life in excess of twenty plus years. In almost every case human intervention with wildlife ends badly!  In many cases wildlife suffers more often then humans during and following interventions.  Many cases of humans finding “lost” fawns or bear cubs end with the young animal having to be placed in captivity or at the very worst and as in many cases, euthanized.  Regardless, imagine the plight of the mother having lost its child.  Wildlife mothers find very quickly that loosing infants is a part of their environment- that is the way of nature.  Feeding an animal is worse on so many levels – processed food is not part of any animals diet.  Leaving food out is akin to entrapment.  The animal soon becomes accustomed to having its food provided and looses its desire to fend.  Why work if the food is there every day and its free?

Coyotes learned a long time ago to be stealthy in order to survive other predators. Coyotes used to fear humans and stayed out of sight using stealth to its advantage.  Now the Coyote no longer relies on stealth around humans. The Coyote’s survival instincts have been altered, they no longer have to fear humans – they have become emboldened by humans providing food! Automobiles are just another stampede to circumvent. Coyotes have learned to cross busy roads to obtain the free food left out by humans.  Is it a great life or what?

Stay tuned – there is more to come on the Coyote Cam

Today and always

This weekend started out like most Saturday’s do, turn on the coffee maker and retrieve the paper from our front drive.  Only this morning was a bit different. While opening the paper and looking down the hill I spotted a Coyote.  Spotting a Coyote around here is not uncommon but to see one not skulking along the fence line or amongst the tall weeds is different.  There is a game trail just off our back fence where the Coyote Cam sets specifically to photograph the coyotes (other critters as well).  Now to be honest, there have not been many Coyote (let alone other animals) being photographed in the last few months.

Coyotes were only found in the southwest early on in our country’s history.  Today, Coyotes are found from coast to coast and as far north as Alaska and as far south as Honduras in Central America.  Their territories have expanded because of the animal’s ability to thrive in adverse conditions!  No other predator has expanded its territory like the Coyote.  Their dens have been found under stadium parking lots, they have been photographed crossing busy intersections and walking across frozen bays. coyote crossing frozen bay

How does the Coyote survive in these conditions? Why was a Coyote spotted out in the open just down the hill from my home?

Human acceptance of the Coyote in our environment has made the Coyote unafraid of us. As our country expanded from the colonies to where it is today, we have built up to and into previous rural and undeveloped lands.  The desire to go from point a to point b requires that we build four (maybe six) lane highways to get us ever more quickly to our destinations.  Wild life is being forced into an ever decreasing areas with limited food sources.  Wild life has found that humans are not necessarily good neighbors and all but the Coyote continues to flee in the face of the onslaught.  Back when the Coyote was found only in the southwest it was not the alpha predator.  Wolves were the primary canines.  For clarity here it should be noted that Wolves are strictly carnivores whereas Coyotes vary their diets relying on small animals for their protein substituting berries and seeds at other times.  Wolves prayed on Coyotes when ever large game were not readily available.  Mountain Lions hunted the Coyote and bears would kill the unwary Coyote whenever the opportunity arose.  The Coyote soon acquired stealth as part of their survival techniques.  These days and with the large predator’s numbers greatly reduced the Coyote has no enemies and less reason to remain unseen.  Humans supply food and shelter and the Coyotes take advantage of the freebies!  Is life good or what?

Drawing to a close this issue will again repeat the mantra of a Coyote free neighborhood.

  1. If you feed your pets outside make sure to clean up. No food bowls left outside! Food debris is picked up and placed in garbage containers.
  2. Garbage containers are securely latched!
  3. Bird feeders are checked daily removing any seed from the ground. Fallen seed draws mice, rats and squirrels which in turn is the magic buffet Coyotes enjoy!
  4. Check the wood pile to ensure there aren’t rodents or Coyotes living inside.
  5. Get rid of any structure that might provide a Coyote den.
  6. Check the neighborhood and eliminate any draw a Coyote would find useable! That median in the middle of the street can house Coyotes given ample foliage like trees and shrubs.

Stay tuned – There is more to come on the Coyote Cam.

As the summer gets hot

Vacation went a lot longer then expected, glad to be home! We will get back on track this month hopefully.  However, a review of the past two months Coyote news seems relatively quiet.  A few articles from random community news outlets continue to report chance encounters on the urban front and thankfully, none reported attacks on humans.  On the other hand, pets continue to be victims of Coyotes.  It would appear small pets are more likely to be attacked then their larger cousins.

On the rural side of the fence recent Coyote studies are producing some pretty astounding data. Common knowledge of Coyotes suggest they roam frequently and widely but one study revealed a Coyote had traveled 80 plus miles possibly in search of new territory.  The following link talks about the Coyote whose nickname is the “Interstate Traveler.”  The article includes all the “Dos” and Don’ts” found in this and past issues of the Coyote Cam.  The well written article also reinforces the fact that Coyotes originated in the southwest of the United States and what we see today are the progeny of those original predators.  I highly encourage all to a take a look at that article.

Recent construction projects directly next door and in the streets has apparently scared away many of the nightly denizens, haven’t seen a trace of Coyote in several weeks.  The Rio Grande River is at its highest 10 year levels so vegetation is growing nicely holding small game and water fowl to that immediate vicinity. Rabbits are no longer as plentiful around the neighborhood as they used to be so that Coyote draw is no longer active.  Water, food and shelter are at the top of the Coyote’s list which may be the reason they are staying closer to the river instead of nearby neighborhoods.  However, one never knows when the Coyote is going to be active as was demonstrated this past weekend.  A local realtor likes to put on neighborhood yard sales this time each year so my wife and I decided it would be a good time to see our neighbors.  As we walked past an arroyo/street crossing we knew something had darted behind us but didn’t stop to investigate.  An oncoming family pointed to a large bush we had just passed and said they had seen a Coyote run out of the bush just as we passed it.  That was interesting in that a Coyote would be this close with all the commotion of the construction and elevated amount of traffic due to the yard sales going on.  One never knows!

Well here we are folks more then half way through 2017, still a lot of hot weather ahead of us across the country. Sadly the wild fires are eating up the countryside and along with the loss of animals is the destruction of homes.  Take some time to look at your surroundings to know which way to escape should fire come your way.

Stay tuned, there is more to come on the Coyote Cam!

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