Introducing My Coyote Yipps Blog
I began this blog as an extension of my urbanwildness.com website. My urbanwildness website is about celebrating and protecting wildlife in and around our San Francisco urban setting. It is an advocacy website with no other purpose than to show how fantastic it is to have this wildlife right here in a city and to ask that everyone respect it. Our coyotes lead rich lives, full of emotion — the same emotions we experience — and full of family life — the same family life we enjoy. They are not aggressive, but some of their behaviors are geared for survival purposes, such as defending themselves and their families from dogs. Dogs can be seen by coyotes as a threat to their very survival. Dogs chasing them have been a major issue which we have the ability to control. The other major issue is keeping them wild — for their, and our own safety. Fortunately most of us know that “a fed coyote is a dead coyote,” a phrase coined by Mary Paglieri, a wildlife conflict manager of the Little Blue Society. Coyotes who are fed may become aggressive towards humans and then have to be eliminated.
My intention is to reveal the animals through photos so that we all can appreciate them. I try to explain their behaviors so that you can understand them if you come across one — mine are first-hand observations. I want everyone to know that this wildlife is here, but I do not advertise locations. Revealing locations would defeat all of my intentions and what I care most about. The coyotes and their quality of life comes first for me. Stress is caused by dogs chasing them and by a constant stream of noisy people, especially during the pupping season which is long: April through October or so. Mating season precedes this, and this also is a stressful time sometimes for them. These animals don’t need to be on show as if they were in a zoo or part of a safari.
It seems to me that the point is to explore and discover the environment — our area has fabulous parks and open spaces and neighborhoods. If you get out and explore the environment and then glimpse the wildlife that goes along with it, you will be learning more and feeling much more satisfaction than if you drive to a single location without exploring its context — that would be too much like going to the zoo.
Our Department of Animal Care and Control has this same policy of not revealing where the animals are — not only for protecting the animals, but for protecting humans who often want to feed or pet wild animals without knowing or understanding the danger they are putting themselves and everyone else into.
With my urbanwildness website, I realized that photos alone were not adequately capturing the intelligent behaviors I wanted to depict, nor, of course, the thoughts that occurred to me as I observed. So I began the blog. The postings don’t necessarily depict what is going on at the time they were posted. This is because often I have several things to post, and have decided to “spread” the postings out over a period of time. Also, I often think of behaviors with photos that occurred long ago, so these will be inserted nowhere close to the time they occurred.
Mine are observations that occur as they occur, and their randomness might tell more and be of more interest than an organized approach — however, I now have organized my postings into topic groupings, which might make it easier to find what you are looking for: TOPIC GROUPINGS of POSTINGS. Suggestions are welcome, always. Also, for a quick look at urban coyotes, take a look at Urban Coyotes Have Lives, published in WildCare’s February 2011 Newsletter. Thank you for listening! Janet
About me: Please see article in The New York Times which appeared on March 14, 2010: Taking Walks on the Wild Side. And see the AP article which appeared all over the country on March 11 through 13th, 2011. I’ve linked to NBC News: San Francisco Residents Learn to Coexist With Urban Coyotes. A Coyote Whisperer for Urban Coyotes, by Joel Engardio in the San Francisco Examiner, 2014. Janet Kessler: The urban coyote watcher by Leath Tonino in High Country News, 2015