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

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. And A Coyote Whisperer for Urban Coyotes, by Joel Engardio in the San Francisco Examiner.

100 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carter Manning Wade
    Mar 04, 2010 @ 17:05:38

    Great blog cuz! Love it!!

    Reply

  2. RKB
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 04:21:46

    Thanks for doing this… it’s an excellent blog. I hadn’t realized there were so many coyotes in San Francisco.

    Reply

    • janet
      Jun 30, 2010 @ 05:51:55

      Glad you like the blog — I enjoy working on it. Actually, there are not so many coyotes, but they can be seen sporadically in most of the area’s parks.

      Reply

  3. Jennifer
    Jul 02, 2010 @ 02:23:11

    I love this blog! I have sighted a coyote many times not in SF but in Sausalito down in the shipyards. I want everyone to know about coyotes and their important role in eating the pests we have been unsuccessful at getting rid of- rats. Many people I talk to have the first reaction of horror and fear when I talk to them about urban coyotes, and I want to change that. More information is necessary, and the word on how mange can effect coyote behavior is part of that. Please please put more up about Rosie, as I think her story is quite compelling and wonderful.

    Reply

    • janet
      Jul 02, 2010 @ 04:03:01

      Hi Jennifer — Thank you for your comments! I’m so pleased that you like the blog! I’ve ordered Skip Haynes’ book on Rosie Coyote. I may write something up about it after I read it, but you may want to order the book yourself. You can order it from the Rosie Coyote website. Yes, people’s initial reaction to coyotes in urban areas is often negative. We all need to change that in whatever way we can. People often have a tendency to perpetuate negative sensationalist hearsay rather than look at the reality. With my blog I’m trying to show what is really going on, accentuating the stuff we can relate to. Please keep me posted on your own efforts. Thank you again for writing. Janet

      Reply

    • RICHARD PEPPER
      Mar 17, 2011 @ 00:28:49

      I LOVE COYOTES TOO BUT I AM A FERAL CAT CAREGIVER IN SF, SAN MATEO AND I WORRY ABOUT MY LITTLE ONES BEING PREDATED BY BIGGER FERALS, LIKE RACCOONS, OPOSSUMS AND YES COYOTES. FERAL MEANS NOT DOMESTICATED TO MANKIND. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS HOW I CAN DISCOURAGE COYOTES FROM EATING MY CATS? LIKE AT THE BASE OF MOUNT SAN BRUNO AND COYOTE COUNTRY, A VAST AREA OF VIRGIN WOODLANDS IN AN URBAN LANDSCAPE. I KNOW WE ARE ENCROACHING INTO THEIR HABITAT AND THEY DO WHAT THEY CAN NOT TO STARVE. I DONT WANT THAT, NOR DO I FEEL THAT TRANSPLANTING THEM IS A USABLE IDEA. NOT FOR THEM. EMAIL ME IF YOU HAVE AN OPINION I CAN USE .

      Reply

      • yipps
        Mar 17, 2011 @ 06:24:30

        Hi Richard — Your situation is a contradictory one because you are attempting to keep the cats wild, yet you are taking care of them. When wild animals are taken care of and fed, they lose some of the acuteness that they would otherwise be utterly dependent upon for survival. The cats may have lost the edge they had for hunting, but in fact they still do need it for escaping from predators. I admire that you care about these cats, but I’m wondering if your efforts are dulling the sharpness that they need for survival in the wild. I really don’t know — this is only a thought. From what I’ve seen, coyotes’ preferred food source is small and easy to capture rodents like voles and gophers. The wild is about survival. Pets, of course, always need to be protected from predators — these animals have lost their ability to protect themselves in the wild. Nature can be cruel, but it also is balanced, to prevent things even more terrible than death such as starvation and suffering and disease. Different animals keeping down other animal populations is an important part of that balancing in the wild.

      • Mary Paglieri
        Jul 18, 2012 @ 21:22:55

        Hello Richard Pepper,

        Re: protecting your feral cats from predation:

        – Raccoons will not harm your cats – I have seen them respectfully taking turns eating at feeding stations. And they do keep a safe distance from each other.

        However, coyotes and bobcats are a different story. As Janet said, your kitties are now a part of the “food-chain.” You may lose one from time to time, but there are ways you can help them escape from predators:

        1. I like to use “escape tunnels.” PVC tubing works best. It must be at least 6 feet in length, and the opening around 12 inches – wide enough to accommodate the largest kitty , but not so small that they can get stuck. You can paint the tubes to blend in with the environment and strategically place them in bushes along the path that the kitties use, or areas that you’ve seen them scatter to, when startled.

        2. The tubes must be wedged on either side by heavy concrete blocks (can be bought from the gardening department at Home Depot), to keep it stationary, otherwise the tubes will roll.

        3. Introduce the escape tubes to your colony, by placing a little bit of wet food inside the tunnel, to pique their interest.

        4. Check the tubes frequently to make sure no animals are stuck in them. Call the Peninsula Humane Society for help to remove any stuck animals. (650) 340-8200 – ask to speak with a dispatcher.

        The opening of the tube will not be large enough to accommodate a coyote or bobcat. The kitties can find a safe haven in the tubes, until the predator loses interest and moves on.

        Please let us know how it goes…

        Best – Mary

        http://www.littlebluesociety,org

      • Mary
        Aug 15, 2013 @ 17:59:46

        I live in Sausalito, just up from the houseboats on Gate 5 Road, and we have lost five cats (including mine) in the past two months to coyotes. Prior to this, I had only heard of the Mill Valley cats being killed by coyotes, but they are now in Sausalito, so if you live in Sausalito, PROTECT YOUR CATS!!!

      • yipps
        Aug 15, 2013 @ 18:45:04

        Yes! We need to protect our small pets from many dangers: Please don’t allow your pets to roam free!

        I’m so sorry you’ve lost your cats. However, coyotes are not the culprit for all cat losses, though a finger is always pointed at them. Cats are lossed to many causes, including their simply running away, going off to die alone, being hit by cars, a variety of predators including dogs and raccoons, and coyotes, etc.

        That being said, we need to protect our cats: it is irresponsible for anyone to allow their cat or small pet of any sort to roam free. The culprit is the cat’s owner for not looking after and protecting their pet, not the coyote who doesn’t discriminate between a pet and any other prey they might find. Please take a look at the CoyoteCoexistence.Com video which explains what you need to know to coexist with coyotes: http://youtu.be/euG7R11aXq0

  4. Trackback: Making Wildlife Into Vermin « Save Mount Sutro Forest
  5. milliontrees
    Jul 20, 2010 @ 19:38:44

    I was introduced to your blog through the savesutro blog, which I visit frequently. I was delighted by your recent comment on the savesutro blog about how we would all benefit from leaving nature alone to be whatever it is going to be. I agree with you that man does more harm than good when we presume to know better than nature.

    I invite you to my blog to see many examples in the San Francisco Bay Area of the harmful effects such presumption.

    Reply

    • janet
      Jul 20, 2010 @ 20:56:34

      Hi MillionTrees: Thank you for writing in response to my comments on the Save Sutro Forest Site. I visited your blog, Milliontrees, as you invited me to do. Your site is fabulous: the right ideas along with all sorts of interesting angles. The ideas expressed here are exactly the same as mine: we are definite allies. I’ve added your blog to my site: we need to get more information out and increase access to it. Let me know if there is more I can do. Sincerely, Janet

      Reply

  6. Todd
    Jul 23, 2010 @ 17:41:45

    Thanks for a wonderful site. Your readers should know that groups that would like to see the Mt. Sutro forest destroyed thereby displacing and jeopardizing thousands of animals (actually a certain, agonizing and painful death) recruit their followers from all over the Bay Area to attend the UCSF community meetings to support the destruction of the forest. They claim they are part of the “community.” Well–animal lovers are part of the community, too!

    I live adjacent to the forest and have seen first hand the delightful animal that come out at night. I have witnessed coyotes, racoons, possums, skunks, owls, and many other species out of my window. What a privilege to share the space without any problem.

    We need all of the help we can get. Please urge follow animal lovers to attend the upcoming UCSF “community” meeting to counter the numbers of those whom seek to destroy the forest. The meeting is Monday, July 26th, at 6:30 pm., Millberry Union Conference Center located at 500 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco.

    I have spoken and commented at past meetings about the animals which have come to call home the Mt. Sutro forest after 120 years of a slowly developed ecosystem existing as an island in the City. However, UCSF and its other supporters of the forest’s destruction have ignored my concerns and think nothing of an immediate destruction of precious habitat supporting so much wildlife. I hope others share my concern. Thanks for your consideration.

    Reply

  7. Save Sutro
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 02:34:56

    Love the new look of your website/ blog. I realized only on a second look that the background is actually a picture of a coyote family.

    Reply

  8. yipps
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 03:47:14

    Thank you!! I appreciate your feedback. Your reaction to the background was perfect: requiring a second look to register what it actually is. I guess you could call this coyote saturation!

    Reply

  9. Heather
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 18:21:25

    Found your website while trying to research coyote behavior. We are regularly observing some very interesting behavior in our backyard (Sierra Foothills). I would love to know if anyone else has observed a coyotes burying rocks. This particular coyote carried a large rock (about 7″ x 4″) from some distant location and then buried it in the ground(!). The coyote did all of this in a very casual and deliberate manner. After placing the rock in the hole, the coyote covered it completely by pushing dirt with its nose. Then it walked away. Can anyone explain this?

    Reply

    • Charles Wood
      Sep 17, 2010 @ 20:23:35

      I haven’t seen a coyote bury a rock. Perhaps the coyote you observed perceived the rock as having value and wanted to save it for later. Perhaps it was a form of play. How do they decide ‘good object’/’good place’???? It is entertaining to read about. Perhaps the rock was a good object because another coyote had wanted it, like Janet’s two arguing over a ball; or perhaps it had an attractive smell. A good place? Are there places to hide good objects that others would either respect or not find? I say jokingly: apprently not! Now we all know where to find that coyote’s rock!

      Reply

  10. yipps
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 18:48:05

    Hi Heather —

    The rock burial is absolutely fascinating!! I have seen a coyote bury a just-killed gopher which was then retrieved by the coyote within a couple of days, and I have seen a coyote bury an old dry snake, but I have never seen what you describe here. It sounds like your rock might have been the same size as a gopher or another small animal? Maybe it even had some strong animal smells on it? I cannot offer an explanation, but it is fascinating to know about, and maybe the “rhyme and reason” of the behavior will eventually surface. I would love to hear any more interesting animal behavior you have been able to observe. Thank you!

    Reply

  11. Fred Markson
    Nov 03, 2010 @ 19:54:17

    In addition to “a fed coyote is a dead coyote” you might want to add that “a socialized coyote is a dead coyote.”

    It’s imperative that we keep them wild, by keeping them healthily afraid of humans. If they lose their fear, they will eventually lose their lives.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Nov 04, 2010 @ 02:17:52

      Yes. Peaceful coexistence entails keeping coyotes as naturally wild as possible. Any form of interaction with coyotes needs to be avoided.  Fortunately coyotes are not interested in humans — coyotes have never approached humans in San Francisco Area urban parks. However, feeding is the one factor that could alter this balance which is why I concentrate on this.

      In urban settings, there is inevitably going to be a certain amount of habituation: coyotes have become used to seeing dogs and walkers, and they therefore are out in the open more. But the goal is to minimize any interactions with coyotes. It is the interaction which is harmful.

      The main form of interaction going on in our parks is that between dogs and coyotes which always brings humans into the picture. Keeping dog interactions from occurring will help. 

      Reply

  12. linda
    Dec 30, 2010 @ 08:00:10

    Just love this site.

    Reply

  13. Daren R. Sefcik
    Feb 26, 2011 @ 16:07:01

    Great website, thank you for posting such great information about coyotes in our urban areas. I too have a nearby canyon where I walk my dog and he is crazy for chasing them, I can no longer walk him off leash because of it. I have been photographing a slightly different angle of them then you have. In my canyon I have seen over the years the remnants of what they eat. Some of it is quite disturbing, small dog and cat carcasses, skunks, rabbits and even large birds like Herons. I have not read thru all of your posts yet but wonder if you have touched on this topic of coyotes living in our urban areas and how they survive by feeding on our trash, pets and any other means.

    Some of the pictures from my canyon are here:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/daren.sefcik/ChollasCreek#

    Reply

    • yipps
      Feb 26, 2011 @ 21:06:53

      Hi Daren —

      Glad you like the website! What you have found is probably very normal. Unless you actually see a coyote killing an animal, you cannot assume that is what happened in all instances just because he is eating it. Coyotes are just as likely to have found some of these animals already dead, having been hit by a car, killed by dogs or died in some other manner, even of natural causes. Remember that coyotes are known for eating carrion — dead animals that they have found. Their scavenging is one of the ways nature cleans up after itself. Nonetheless, they have been known to take cats and small dogs. This is why in areas where there are coyotes, it is irresponsible for owners not to safeguard their pets by keeping them indoors and leashed when walking them.

      I myself have only seen coyotes eat small rodents: voles and gophers and rats. I’ve also seen them eat raccoon — I assumed this to be carrion because it was right next to a road — raccoons are fierce fighters, so this would not be the preferred choice for a coyote if easier meals are available. People have told me they’ve seen coyotes by trashcans, and I know plastic bags have been found in their scat — so this does happen. But, again, this would not be their first choice. Studies of their scat confirm that the overwhelming part of their diet consists of small rodents, which they consume entirely. Their presence in urban areas is being found to occur not because of human presence there, but in spite of it, as found by Professor Stan Gehrt.

      I would love to hear more from you — either about this food issue, or anything else you find about urban coyotes. Some readers have actually posted their observations on the site so that everyone can read about them. Let me know if you would like to do so.

      Reply

    • Greg
      Mar 16, 2011 @ 07:10:52

      Good photos.
      It is disturbing and sad to see the cats and dogs that have been killed. For me, that does not translate into a desire to get rid of coyotes.
      I keep my cats strictly indoors. It’s more work for me, but they’re healthy and enjoying life.

      Reply

      • Daren R. Sefcik
        Mar 17, 2011 @ 03:01:22

        As the author of this site pointed out to me (and I completely agree) is that some of the killed animals I have photos of may just be “second hand” kills…meaning a dog or cat may have strayed into the street and was struck by a car (or other similar non coyote related accident) and the coyotes simply take advantage of it. I have seen the hawks swoop down and grab rabbits, pick out what they want and drop the remaining carcass in the fields and the coyotes may also utilize that as a food source. My intention was not to suggest that coyotes are domestic pet killers. They are (in my observations) mostly curious and stay to themselves unless threatened and only want to live peacefully like the rest of us.

        Wonderful blog….

  14. Trackback: Twilight adventure in golden gate park: Raccoons and Janet Kessler « FOREST KNOLLS
  15. Wendy
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 18:34:04

    I love your blog and am looking forward to learning more about urban coyotes. On the few occasions that I’ve seen them, I’ve always felt incredibly lucky. I hope their habitat is being preserved in Mt. Sutro, I know that the UC has been doing some heavy construction in the area. I’ve also always loved the role of the coyote in Native American storytelling as well. And anyone who eats rodents is alright by me. I just hope people are getting more and more educated about not using poison to control rodents… Anyway, thanks again!

    Reply

  16. Carolyn G. Foland
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 03:04:40

    Just discovered this blog. Very interesting and great pictures. I grew up on a farm in Kansas where coyotes were a part of the wildlife. They were a danger to the smaller or vulnerable farm animals but were more heard than seen. Mostly nocturnal visits, especially to chicken houses.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Mar 13, 2011 @ 03:26:17

      Small farm animals are as much “food” to coyotes as they are to us — the idea of ownership is understood differently. I can imagine the precautions you had to take to keep your farm animals safe — I hope not many were taken. I’m happy that you accepted coyotes as part of the surrounding wildlife. In urban areas we don’t have these same problems. However, small pets have to be protected, for the same reason.

      Reply

  17. Susan 916
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 21:45:51

    We lived in Arizona a few years and its very common to have Coyotes around. In Tuscon, in the middle of town by city hall I seen one crossing the street also. And I never seen a single stray cat or dog out there.
    In Nevada at the ski resorts Coyotes walk through the parking lot and never bother the people there, nor did they in AZ.
    Our pets need to be leashed when off our property at all times except in enclosed dog parks, it would avoid allot of dog fights and getting in trouble or getting lost!
    We need to understand we share this earth and not destroy everything that does not suit us at that moment. S.F. is lucky there is a little wildlife left.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Mar 13, 2011 @ 22:06:40

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for writing! I appreciate your comments and I totally agree with what you say. Dogs need to be leashed when there are coyotes around. I’ve never seen coyotes bother people, either. And yes, we need to share the earth — even if it doesn’t suit us, as you say — it does not belong to us alone. I do feel extremely lucky that there is still wildlife in and around San Francisco! Thank you for supporting coyotes. Janet

      Reply

  18. Ben
    Mar 15, 2011 @ 23:43:41

    You are doing an excellent thing here, DO NOT ever let anyone tell you different. I completely agree that seeing these beautiful animals out an about is just invigorating! It is US who came along and paved up THEIR home and habitat, not the other way around, and its amazing that these creatures are finding a way to adapt. Your pictures are amazing. Keep it up!

    Reply

  19. Am Chandler
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 01:29:46

    Great photography and great blog! Keep up all of your great work on behalf of God’s Dog! Also, thank you for posting a link to my website.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Mar 16, 2011 @ 02:41:02

      And thank you, Amy, for your own wonderful photography! Photography is a great tool for building understanding and acceptance of wildlife. I’m so pleased we share these goals! Janet

      Reply

  20. molly
    Mar 16, 2011 @ 11:43:18

    beautiful blog. i found it on Yahoo news and am very fascinated by the coyotes in San Francisco that I did not know about before. I do agree that we need to leash our dogs for the safety of these beautiful creatures. If no harm is done FROM them, Why should we cause harm TO them? Beautiful blog, again. :)

    Reply

  21. Out Walking the Dog
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 17:49:59

    Fascinating blog. I too am fascinated by urban wildlife. In my case, I track and write about NYC, where I live. In February 2010, we had coyotes spotted right here in Manhattan, one of which (a young female) took up residence for about a month in a tiny nature sanctuary in Central Park. It eventually wandered down to Tribeca, where it was trapped, evaluated and released into an undiscolosed location. I went down to the area of the park several times at dusk and was lucky enough to see the coyote – a beautiful bit of wildness in the midst of the most urban of cities.

    A friend in L.A. recently had an unusual experience with a young coyote that might interest you. She wrote about it (and posted photos and video) on her blog: http://charlottehildebrand.blogspot.com/2011/06/howl.html I’d love to know your take on the video of the coyote.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Jun 07, 2011 @ 02:43:47

      Hi —

      Thank you for your comments and input. Your friend’s experience in Los Angeles is fascinating. I’ve never heard of a coyote following a human and then barking like that. It may have to do with the feeding which he saw. I do know, and you might let him know, that “a fed coyote is a dead coyote”, meaning that fed coyotes eventually turn to begging aggressively and then have to be put down. Best never to feed any coyote ever. As for relocating a coyote — this can be a death sentence for a coyote and is illegal in my area. I wonder why the policy is different in New York. I would love to republish your friend’s encounter on the yipps blog — do you think he might be willing to do this? Janet

      Reply

      • Out Walking the Dog
        Jun 07, 2011 @ 12:55:13

        Hi, Janet. I forwarded your request to my friend in L.A. You might want to leave a comment on her blog post as well, if you haven’t already done so. I’ve subsribed to your blog and look forward to following your posts.

      • yipps
        Jun 07, 2011 @ 16:41:02

        Thank you so much! Yes, I will comment on her blog as you suggest. Glad you like the yipps blog! Janet

  22. Charlotte Hildebrand
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 17:21:04

    Hi Janet, fantastic urban wildlife blog and pics. Please feel free to republish my post about the coyote in Los Angeles being fed by my neighbor that outwalkingthedog mentions. The coyote section starts halfway down, and also, if you click on the word “toddler,” you will be directed to an earlier post about the same coyote as it was last year napping in the canyon. I worry about this little fellow, as it appears to be totally dependent on the food it gets from my neighbor’s abundant table—along with the skunks, raccoons, crows and ferrel cats—although the coyote has a special dining area just for him/her(?). I have talked to this neighbor before about feeding wildlife (I didn’t know or was in denial that she was feeding the coyote until this recent post), and she does not understand, or care, that what she’s doing is harmful; in her head she’s “helping.” As you can see in the video, the coyote must have taken me for an interloper, and found its way behind my house and started barking at me. I would really appreciate any input or experience you or anyone else has had on how to talk to someone like my neighbor to stop the behavior, short of calling the authorities, which I will do if pressed. Again my post is at: http://charlottehildebrand.blogspot.com/2011/06/howl.html
    Thanks! Charlotte

    Reply

    • yipps
      Jun 07, 2011 @ 18:42:51

      I really appreciate your letting me republish your article — it’s great writing!

      It is very difficult to talk to people about changing their ways with animals. You might gently let Thea know that “a fed coyote is a dead coyote”, that coyotes often turn around and “bite the hand that feeds them”. You can explain this in terms of shark behavior: Scuba divers often go down to see sharks, protected by metal cages. When on the ocean floor, they encounter sharks and actually feed them — often hand feed them. The problem is that this trains the sharks that around humans, there is food. What happens next is that the sharks begin aggressively demanding food from other unsuspecting divers who then encounter extremely aggressive sharks. The same is true of coyotes. Once coyotes become aggressive, they are almost always put down. Let Thea know that she is actually helping the coyote more by not feeding it.

      If this doesn’t work, there is a woman who is great with this kind of stuff. Her name is Mary Pagliery. We possibly could get her to call Thea. She is part of an organization called http://www.littlebluesociety.org. She is very soft-spoken, and was recommended to me by humane societies in this area specifically to solve this type of coexistence problem. Let me know if you would like to go this route and I’ll try to help.

      Reply

  23. Charlotte Hildebrand
    Jun 07, 2011 @ 19:25:45

    Thanks Janet, I left you a reply on my blog, more in detail, but want you to know I appreciate the useful info, and also the scoop on Mary Pagliery, if for nothing else, it’s a fascinating subject—human-animal conflict resolution. Wow!

    I will be following your blog, and also updating you on what happens. Wish me luck, and thanks, Charlotte

    Reply

  24. Mary Paglieri
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 07:36:24

    Hi Charlotte,

    It’s Mary Paglieri, Little Blue Society. Janet called my attention to your current issue with your neighbor. I’m a human-animal conflict consultant with a background in animal behavior. I’ve worked with coyotes for over a decade, studying their natural behavior and also using techniques to modify the behavior of coyotes that have acclimated to humans and human-use areas.

    I read your post and watched the video on your blog. My comments are as follows:
    – Coyotes bark when they are alarmed – the vocalizations show this adolescent was quite fearful of your presence. Aggression is a fear-based response, so please do not approach this coyote again.
    – It’s a young, healthy animal, and is most likely hunting as well as coming around for the supplemental feeding. This would indicate one of two things: It is either not finding an adequate amount of natural prey and needs the “help” to get through this season. Or it is an orphaned coyote that is not a proficient hunter – yet.
    – Patience is the best policy in dealing with coyote issues such as this. If Animal Control is called, no doubt, this coyote will be trapped and destroyed. Given time, this coyote will leave on it’s own, regardless of whether your neighbor is leaving food or not. Coyotes mature quickly, and it is impossible to “erase” their natural instinct to forage.
    – Numerous studies and my personal observations have shown that wildlife prefer their native prey over non-native food sources – however, if they come across a non-native food source, they MAY take advantage of it, depending on how plentiful their natural prey base is.

    I would continue working on your neighbor in a non-threatening way to help her understand that she may be doing more harm than good. And if you’re not successful in getting her to stop – I’m certain that, given time, this coyote will stop coming around on its own. Please keep us abreast of your observations and your progress on this issue.

    Best – Mary
    http://www.littlebluesociety.org

    Reply

  25. Mary Paglieri
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 08:18:20

    Janet – this is really a wonderful and informative blog. The photos are incredible! Keep up the great work on behalf of North America’s native Song Dog!

    Mary

    Reply

  26. Mary Paglieri
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 21:03:38

    Hello Richard Pepper,

    Re: protecting your feral cats from predation:

    – Raccoons will not harm your cats – I have seen them respectfully taking turns eating at feeding stations. And they do keep a safe distance from each other.

    However, coyotes and bobcats are a different story. As Janet said, your kitties are now a part of the “food-chain.” You may lose one from time to time, but there are ways you can help them escape from predators:

    1. I like to use “escape tunnels.” PVC tubing works best. It must be at least 6 feet in length, and the opening around 12 inches – wide enough to accommodate the largest kitty , but not so small that they can get stuck. You can paint the tubes to blend in with the environment and strategically place them in bushes along the path that the kitties use, or areas that you’ve seen them scatter to, when startled.

    2. The tubes must be wedged on either side by heavy concrete blocks (can be bought from the gardening department at Home Depot), to keep it stationary, otherwise the tubes will roll.

    3. Introduce the escape tubes to your colony, by placing a little bit of wet food inside the tunnel, to pique their interest.

    4. Check the tubes frequently to make sure no animals are stuck in them. Call the Peninsula Humane Society for help to remove any stuck animals. (650) 340-8200 – ask to speak with a dispatcher.

    The opening of the tube will not be large enough to accommodate a coyote or bobcat. The kitties can find a safe haven in the tubes, until the predator loses interest and moves on.

    Please let us know how it goes…

    Best – Mary
    http://www.littlebluesociety,org

    Reply

  27. HELLEN CRUZ
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 03:54:29

    HELLO JANETT…ME ALEGRA QUE CONTINUES CON TU PASION DE CUIDAR LOS COYOTES Y HACER QUE LOS DEMAS LOS VEAMOS CON OTROS OJOS…..COMO SE MIRA A UN BUEN VECINO…..YO LES TENIA MIEDO Y APRENDI A QUERERLOS A TRAVES TUYO….UN ABRAZO DESDE CALI COLOMBIA. HELLEN

    Reply

    • yipps
      Jun 18, 2011 @ 05:15:54

      ¡Gracias, Hellen! Sí, continuo siempre como antes. Ojalá que otros también aprenderán a quererlos. ¡Hasta pronto! Tu amiga en SF, Janet

      Reply

  28. Gary
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 22:20:26

    Fantastic website; thanks for all the work. I am trying to listen to/download coyote vocalizations. I can listen to the audio when it is combined with video, but not the audio-only “bars”. Any idea what to do about it?

    Reply

    • yipps
      Aug 12, 2011 @ 05:17:21

      Glad you like the website. I’m not sure these are downloadable, but you should be able to hear them on the site. Could it be your browser?

      Reply

  29. Lauren Murata
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 08:04:39

    I live in Tucson Arizona. We often see coyotes in our neighborhood, which is in the heart of the city. My dog (a 70-lb male black Lab) has shown little interest in them, even when we have encountered them within 10 ft of us (walking with the dog on a leash). They often follow us from a short distance and seem curious.

    Anyway, we frequently go to an urban park late at night so the Lab can play fetch his favorite toy, a flashing lighted ball. This grassy little developed park lies along a very popular, mostly undeveloped linear park that follows a river bed (long ago, used to be an actual river) through the city and serves (inadvertantly) as a wildlife corridor. About two weeks ago, a coyote actually came up to the Lab in the park and they circled and sniffed, maintaining a short distance apart. There were no vocalizations except my dog making a very quiet, low-pitched warbling sound I’d never heard before — not a bark or growl at all.

    Anyway, tonight I threw the ball across the park, my dog took off after it—and then he stopped short, as the ball appeared to pick itself off the ground, bound back and forth a few times, and disappeared into the underbrush. My dog ran partway back to me, the way he does when he can’t find the ball and needs help to find it. It was a moonless night, and my flashlight was running low on batteries, but I am pretty sure it was a coyote that took his ball. I saw the green eye shine. My husband followed it a couple of hundred feet into the brush to try to get the ball back and saw it join up with three or four other animals of the same size. They all ran off, and the ball disappeared.

    So we got the “reserve” flashing ball out of the car and started to play fetch again. But on the third throw, the ball again picked itself off the ground and disappeared into the underbrush. My poor dog seemed mystified and sad.

    I had no idea that coyotes were interested in toys like balls, or would come that close to a human (maybe 25 ft away) to steal a toy from a large dog (maybe 10 ft away). I was amused and a bit alarmed—will we no longer be able to play ball in our park without coyotes stealing them? Will the fact that there was no apparent antagonism between my dog and the coyotes mean that they may attack him in the future? Or is this the beginning of a dog–coyote friendship? I would be very interested to hear your thoughts, with all of the experience you have observing urban coyotes.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Oct 21, 2011 @ 13:45:00

      Hi Lauren –

      I enjoyed your story. Coyotes are very curious, especially the younger ones. I have seen them choose any number of dogs which they have approached out of curiosity and interest. I think they want to find out about them. After awhile, the interest always subsides. If you don’t want the coyotes taking your balls you can make loud noises or even toss small stones in their direction (not at them) to discourage them. If you really mean it, you’ll want to be aggressive in the way you do this. If you saw four coyotes, that is a family group, so most likely your little thief was a youngster.

      It may be your dog’s disinterest that attracted the coyotes. I used to hike with a fellow whose dog was not at all interested in the coyotes, never chased them, just nodded at them in passing, but this disinterest may have encouraged a couple of young coyotes to occasionally come up to him and sniff him. One coyote would sometimes take the sticks the dog left after chewing on them. After many months, the coyotes lost interest and no longer came around. Another young coyote would watch a fellow throw pine cones for his dog — the coyote was fascinated. One day, after the pine cone had been tossed a little further than usual, this coyote ran up to it, grabbed it and ran off with it — he was so happy to have the enchanted object. I have seen coyotes pick up a stick and then look at a dog — always a disinterested larger dog — as if to say, hey, I can play too! The interest in the stick or ball or pine cone is that the dog was having so much fun with the toy.

      About the ball, here is a sequence of photos which I caught: a coyote playing all alone with a ball. I’m sure the coyote, a young one, had watched in amazement at the joy a dog had received from the ball.

      http://coyoteyipps.com/2010/05/26/fantastic-fun-fun-fun/
      http://coyoteyipps.com/2010/11/02/stealing-a-dogs-pinecone/
      http://coyoteyipps.com/2010/06/24/wanting-to-play-with-dogs/

      Ultimately it’s best not to encourage a friendship, but a few curious encounters is not going to create problems. In the cases I’ve seen, though, if “Mom” is around, she most often will try to discourage the encounters by putting on her little warning dance. If this happens, it is best to leash the dog and move on. She is actually trying to teach her pups to beware of strangers! So, my advice is to know what is going on, not to become alarmed, but at the same time not to encourage a friendship. Janet

      Reply

  30. Lauren Murata
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 08:10:02

    A follow-up to my last comment: I always enjoy seeing the coyotes and marvel at their boldness, but would it better all around to try to keep them afraid of us, e.g., by throwing rocks or yelling?

    Reply

  31. Charles Wood
    Oct 21, 2011 @ 20:09:21

    Hi Lauren and Janet, My experiences with interactions between my dog and one particular coyote family (pack) here in the Los Angeles area, and between my dog and various other coyotes we have met in our late night walks do leave me with the opinion that it is better all around to prevent dog/coyote interactions. You didn’t mention if that particular dog park’s perimeter is fenced where it runs along the wildlife corridor? If it isn’t, advocating for installing some fencing would help prevent dog/wildlife interaction. At our dog park, the few coyotes that transit by respect the fence and are afraid of the people. They may look in, but they keep moving.

    Yelling and stomping in place should at the minimum move your coyotes back, but even with that, they don’t always completely leave and at night and with plenty of cover, its hard to tell if they are truly gone or our of view. When playing catch, you and your husband could stand apart and have your dog fetch the ball as you and your husband toss it back and forth to each other. That way if a coyote comes up, your dog would be closer to one of you and you could yell and stomp while being fairly close to your dog and the coyote.

    As it sits now it sounds like the coyotes, while in transit, stop because they find the dog park to be a source of entertainment on their journey. Yelling, stomping in place, banging loud things, standing your ground and staring at them should take the fun out it for them. When coyotes want space, they scrape the ground and yip, which stomping and yelling mimic. For me, tossing stones in their direction would be a last step. You could start with that, but it isn’t as much fun as pretending to be a coyote yourself and following their messaging ‘rules’.

    If it wasn’t the case that the coyotes were in transit, that is, if instead you and your dog were in a place special to the coyotes, a space which they claimed, the best thing is to back off the coyote and to then leave and not go back. The dynamics are different when the coyote is on ground where it has specific interests at stake as opposed to when it is just out and about foraging in fairly neutral spaces.

    Reply

  32. Ethyl
    Oct 28, 2011 @ 13:18:12

    whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your articles. Keep up the good work! You know, lots of people are hunting around for this information, you could help them greatly.

    Reply

  33. Kalo
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 19:43:30

    Hi, I would NEVER want to hurt a coyote and while I enjoy reading your blog, the coyotes in AZ are becoming vicious and bold!! They have pets and have attacked people as well.

    I am so scared when walking my dog that I feel like a prisoner!!! It doesn’t matter what time a day one walks their dogs. They have also jumped my next door neighbors back yard looking for food. Thank goodness her SMALL dog was inside when this happened.

    Coyotes are now becoming bold and mean toward people.

    I would like to have positive experience like many on this blog, but, I am frightened for my pets safety when walking.

    Any adivse would be most appreciated! Thank you, Kalo

    Reply

    • yipps
      Dec 22, 2011 @ 17:36:48

      Hi Kalo — I’m sorry the situation is not a happy one for you. Most problems are actually caused by humans. For instance, if coyotes are fed by other humans, this could create a problem: coyotes who are fed could begin demanding food, and then doing so aggressively. Also, any type of food, including dog food, should not be left out in yards — leaving food out serves as an invitation to coyotes to come visiting. So, tell your neighbors not to feed coyotes, or leave pet food out in their yards. I would be very surprised if coyotes were attacking humans: this would be considered abnormal coyote behavior. Coyotes really try to avoid humans: “Leave coyotes alone and they will leave you alone”. But pets, especially small pets, must be protected from coyotes. Coyotes survive on prey — they don’t know the difference between a wild animal and a small domesticated pet. It is up to you to protect your pets by keeping them indoors or on a short leash when you are out with them. Coyotes are very territorial and see dogs as competition for their territories — this is nature at work, they feel they must protect their territories, from competitors like other coyotes and dogs, to survive.

      Coyotes are easy to shoo off, though: by angrily yelling at them, or by tossing a pebble in their direction. You have to let them know that their close proximity is not welcome.

      Right now, too, coyotes are looking for mates and forming bonds. January-February is mating season and then comes pupping season. These are all times of high coyote activity. So right now It would be best if you could walk your dogs in non-coyote areas — maybe where there are a lot of people out walking — I think this would make you feel more comfortable and feel safer. Please see the coyote coexistence guidelines at the beginning of the blog. Janet

      Reply

  34. Kalo
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 19:58:32

    Hi Yipps,

    I am very much enjoying this site and have been reading EVERYTHING!!!

    I am starting to understand Coyote behavior better than before!!!!!

    You are doing a great job!!!

    When my neighbor and I noticed more coyotes than ever comming into our neighborhood, I did state to her that someone must be feeding them.

    Now, I realized that they are not being fed via a bowl, but as stated it could be via exposed trash, left out cat or dog food, fallen fruit from trees…Hopefully, I can get some help from my neighbors to educate them….

    I have a 21 pound dog that is considered small, but, she does look medium small…

    Do you think a coyote would ever consider her “prey”

    I was also told by my friends and vet to carry pepper spray and a walking stick should one get bold and come close.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks for your reply back!

    Kalo

    Reply

    • yipps
      Dec 23, 2011 @ 02:02:32

      Hi Kalo — I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog and are learning from it. That is the best compliment I could hope for! Thank you! About your small dog, the possibility exists that it might be seen as prey — I have heard of small dogs being grabbed by a coyote. But even if your small dog is not seen as prey, your dog will be seen as a territorial intruder. Territorial intruders, if they are simply passing through, are “tolerated” — but it’s best to move through the area uneventfully or, better yet, if you have encountered problems or antagonisms of any sort, take your walks in a different area. I’ve seen coyotes approach small unleashed hyperactive Jack Russells — I’m sure their attention was drawn to the hyperactive exploring activity of these small dogs which alarmed them. Again, it’s best to always keep your dog leashed when you go out for a walk in a coyote area. Your dog has no wilderness survival skills and needs your protection and proximity. You can shoo a coyote away, your dog cannot. I can’t imagine that you would ever need pepper spray. Janet

      Reply

  35. Kellye Mixon Bussey
    Jan 10, 2012 @ 16:24:19

    I just stumbled upon your blog and love it! Fascinating commentary and beautiful pictures. We live in an area that is mixed small farms/woods interspersed with more developed neighborhoods, and have lots of wild critters but sighting are few and far between since they all tend to be wary and mostly nocturnal. Last night I heard an explosion of high pitched yipping and yammering – very shrill barking – very close by. It continued for just a couple of minutes and I was curious about the sound and googled and found your blog. Possibly what I heard was anxiety (we have dairy goats and have two livestock guardian dogs that live with them) or families meeting and greeting. Once our big dogs started to bark in response I think the coyotes quickly moved on.

    Reply

  36. Amy
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 16:02:07

    Yipps, I just found this blog and I really like it! I have a video of two coyotes in California (http://youtu.be/o6a9z8IJcW8) and was asked if it was a dominance interaction. I have no idea. I put a link to your blog in the information section for people who would like to learn more about coyotes.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Feb 12, 2012 @ 03:18:07

      Hi Amy — Yes, it looks like a dominant fella lording it over the the other guy. Submissive guy walks away only when he thinks the coast is clear, tail down and constantly checking in back of himself. Janet

      Reply

  37. Kat
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 01:26:19

    Hello – I wanted to email you my long comment but couldn’t find one. Oh well! I’m very excited to come across this blog and look forward to reading it and your other one. I’m from Chicago and my (new) husband is from the country. I moved out by him. We recently bought land to build a house and while he was there he was talking to someone from the area and found out there are coyotes that live in the area. I know basics about them and was kind of excited to hear this but he is more wary. I know that, for the most part, we don’t need to worry about them but of course don’t be stupid about it.

    I’ve only seen a few coyotes and foxes near my home in Chicago and I’ve gone camping (real camping, with canoe portages and no soap for 10 days lol) up in Minnesota/Canada and have been around bears and moose (moose are scary…) so I’m not a complete stranger to wildlife. Illinois has not had large predators for some time but they’re starting to move back in. Eagles started nesting around Chicago again, coyotes are here and mountain lions are starting to move back. The mountain lions are being spotted more and more around here, myself being one of those people (thankfully…for me at least, it was not a live one). Wolves are expected to move back in at some point as well. I would like to know what you have to say about mountain lions, I know they’re a big deal out west. Frankly I don’t care to ever see one again, a dead one is no threat but I could not believe how MASSIVE it was. I’m happy that we have all of these amazing (albeit somewhat frightening) animals starting to repopulate and move back but we are so naive about them since they’ve been gone for the most part for over 100 years.

    Also, re: dogs off leashes. This drives me insane. Close friends of ours have a German shepherd that they let off leash all the time in a cramped neighborhood of town homes. They were getting a lot of complaints and fines and kept getting pissed off about it. It just seems so ignorant – a lot of people are afraid of dogs, especially German shepherds. “He’s not going to do anything” right, until a delicious bunny hops by. He’s a good dog, but he is still an animal.

    Anyway, I look forward to learning about my new wild neighbors, thank you for sharing this.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Jul 15, 2012 @ 05:15:58

      Hi Kat —
      “I know that, for the most part, we don’t need to worry about them but of course don’t be stupid about it.” Yes! I’m glad you understand this! Give them their space, don’t feed them or leave food out, leave them alone and they will leave you alone!

      The repopulation of areas with wild animals I think is wonderful, but, as you say, “humans are terribly naive about them because they have been gone so long.” We need to learn about each of the animals that lives in our areas — each one is different and different sets of guidelines for coexistence are involved.

      My experience is with coyotes — I don’t live around mountain lions (100-165 lbs, yes, they are BIG). It might be a good idea to read up on them. I’ll ask Mary Paglieri, our wildlife conflict manager, if she has any specific advice for you. I know that right now she is working on an issue of a mountain lion which has been frequenting a neighborhood.

      As for the German shepherd off leash — the owner needs to be more respectful of people in the area, especially if people are afraid of the dog — it’s another matter of peaceful coexistence, isn’t it? Peaceful coexistence always requires some give. Hope this helps! Janet

      Reply

    • Mary Paglieri
      Jul 18, 2012 @ 21:19:58

      Hi Kat,

      RE: Mitigating wildlife conflicts in our neighborhoods, and when visiting open-space/parklands…etc., – following the basic guidelines by giving animals a wide berth if encountered on a trail or observed at a distance, or simply leaving the area, in addition, not creating a “buffet” i.e. pet food left outdoors, unsecured garbage, fruits fallen from fruit trees, unsupervised small pets…etc. in your backyard is a good place to start.

      Mountain Lions follow a completely different M.O. They do not take advantage of pet food, small pets…etc. – things that coyotes and bears may come upon as an incidental take.

      Consider yourself fortunate if you have the opportunity to see a mountain lion – it happens quite rarely! They tend to be quite invisible to human eyes – they are also known as the Ghost cat for that reason. 95% of sightings are not verifiable, and there have been numerous reports of people mistaking large orange tabbies and bobcats for lions. Also, sightings always increase after an initial sighting is reported by the media.

      A radio-collar study of Mt. Lions in Yosemite was done by CA Department of Fish and Game in the early 80′s – they found that some of the lions stayed close to highly populated camp-grounds (without any incidence), yet people weren’t even aware of their presence. They see us, we don’t see them.

      If mt. lions decided to put us on their menu, a large number of us would be disappearing every day. Best to use common sense. If there is a report of a lion sighting in an area: avoid the area for a few days, it will have moved on by then. Always hike using the buddy system, and stay out of parks when the sun goes down, and before dawn – that is when wildlife is most actively foraging.

      Just remember that lions and all wildlife want to avoid us as much as we want to avoid them. You can clap your hands or sing when you are moving through a heavily brushed area to alert any animals to your presence, so that they can leave. Be aware of your surroundings to minimize surprise encounters. Some people recommend using a whistle – do not use a whistle in bear-country.

      There have been more injuries/fatalities with deer and other indigenous ungulates than there have been with mt. lions and coyotes.

      We’re fortunate that the mt. lion is the largest cat on our continent – imagine the Amur tiger that roams the forests of south-eastern Russia and northern China- it’ tips the scale at 700lbs!

      Hope what I wrote helps to assuage some of your concerns – if there are any specific questions about lions, please let me know.

      Best,
      Mary A. Paglieri
      Human-Animal Conflict Consultant
      Little Blue Society

      Reply

  38. Charles Wood
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 21:13:14

    Hello Richard Pepper and Mary Paglieri

    Re: protecting your feral cats from predation:

    Yes the escape tunnels, PVC tubing, must be wedged on either side by heavy concrete blocks to keep it stationary. Wedged, it shouldn’t move from side to side. I add that it should also be wedged so that it can’t be lifted up. My dog lifts 6 foot PVC tubing up on one end and shakes it. He uses a shake and wait strategy. Shake, ready, set. Eventually the rabbit inside loses its nerve and runs out the far end for other cover. Then its shake, ready, set, run. A 6 foot head start is enough for a rabbit. However two coyotes could figure out how to use loose PVC tubing as a feeder.

    Reply

  39. Louise
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 07:16:12

    Hi there.

    Your blog is extremely informative, thank you. Not being native to the United States, my knowledge of coyotes is pretty limited, so your blog has helped tremendously. Of late, we seem to be experiencing a lot of coyote sightings in our SF neighborhood. I’ve looked online but can’t find anyone else me ruining sightings here before. Also, having lived here for 2.5 years, I haven’t seen any or heard of anyone else seeing any… Until the last 2 or 3 months. We seem to have had a family of coyotes move in close proximity.

    There have been numerous daylight sightings that seem to be escalating. Even though our neighborhood is ‘fenced off’, there are major gaps in the fences with lots of wild brush surrounding the area. A dog doing its business out in a communal garden recently chased a coyote down a hill and across 4 lanes of traffic, owner screaming in panic. There were a few coyotes barking on the other side and continued for hours afterwards.

    I saw my first coyote last week at 6 in the evening, a few feet off the neighborhood perimeter. It Wasn’t afraid at all. Just stated for a bit then walked slowly off. We have a few people leaving food out for the coyotes as well as feral cats and I am guessing this is why the coyotes are settling in/near.

    Lately it seems like everyone has seen the coyotes here. It’s just odd. The perimeter fence gives people a false sense of security but it’s not really a full fence. Lots of open gaps. People leave their kids out to play in the communal gardens (which face the brush area where the coyotes come in).

    There are also a few lost dog notices popping up on street lamps lately and people saying their cats are missing.

    We live in a large community here so people feel safe to walk their dogs off-lead and late at night. I’m convinced it’s just a matter of time before something happens and the coyotes end up getting shot.

    My question is- what should I do? Is there anyone to talk to that can come in and maybe monitor the coyote population here, or at least speak to the people that are leaving food out?

    I’m not too sure how to go about it. It’s a very large community- Im only aware of what’s going on in the few streets around my house.

    In happy to provide details of where this is etc via email if you wish.

    Many thanks!

    Reply

    • yipps
      Aug 26, 2012 @ 17:20:57

      Hi Louise — Thanks for contacting me. It’s important to make people aware so that they know what to expect and so that they know what to do to prevent any problems. Coyotes avoid people, but issues could be created with dogs. Let’s work on informative flyers and “Coyote Alert” signs, and possibly schedule a hands-on class/workshop with the Wildlife Conflict Manager. Most important are the signs — they serve as reminders to those who received flyers and are informative for those who did not receive flyers. I’ll contact you off-line. Janet

      Reply

  40. Lu
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 21:54:19

    Since 2009 my 85 lb neutered yellow lab, Buster, has been having a sort of cat & mouse game with a particular coyote. I rarely see the coyote as the area around us is very brushy but oh do I hear her! What happens is the coyote will come in close to our yard and begin barking and yipping, identical to Charolette Hildebrand’s coyote video. Buster will take off at a full run after the coyote, chases coyote away and then returns to my frantic calls. Within seconds, coyote is back barking and yipping for another go around. This will go on (with the exception of my frantic calls) for an hour or more, no particular time of day. Often Buster will be out in the woods barking with his aggressive bark while the coyote is barking.
    I was very concerned at first as I heard of a couple coyote packs that attacked dogs. One account where the coyotes actually lured the dog away from his house then attacked.
    I have a 3 yr old 65 lb dog who also joins in the “fun” but not as often – he is very submissive and I think it frightens him a bit but he follows his big buddy. I do worry about him when my two dogs are outnumbered.
    Most of the time it is the lone coyote but yesterday afternoon there were three. Sounded like two adults and a pup who’s bark sounded much like the regular coyote. Earlier in the day my husband saw two of the coyotes come into our field, about 50 ft away from him. As soon as the dogs spotted the feral pair the game began and continued of and on for a record time of 4 hours. I finally penned the dogs up as it was begining to get dark.
    This “game” occurs every few weeks, all year long. It has gone on for so long and neither dog has ever come back injured; only Buster is sore the following day.
    I know the coyotes are not fed by humans anywhere nearby; most folks would more likely shoot them. We live in a rural portion of a small island in Washington State and coyotes are as common as raccoons in the city and there is an ample food supply of mice, voles and other small rodents. They have been known to swim back and forth across the channel to the mainland a mile away.
    Do you have any thoughts on what the coyotes are up to?
    The dogs are penned up when we are not home.
    Any comments are appreciated. Thanks, Lu

    Reply

    • yipps
      Aug 29, 2012 @ 05:08:51

      Hi Lu —

      Thank you for writing! I’ve seen this kind of coyote/dog interaction right here in a San Francisco park which shares a boundary with back yards. What I think describes this behavior best is a “game of oneupmanship” involving teasing and testing, mutually intelligible to dog and coyote, not serious, and in fact fun. I think the coyotes know they won’t be harmed, and the dogs feel the same way. Your dogs are large, but they don’t sound aggressive.

      The people who own the dogs here, also large dogs, told me that they don’t think the exchange is serious — they think of it as a kind of standoffish play. Nonetheless, they have been advised that dogs and coyotes need to be kept apart here in the city, so this exchange which went on for several years, no longer goes on. There always is the possibility that the coyote could take a nip at a dog’s haunches.

      I’ll ask our wildlife management consultant for any additional input she might have and get back to you. Janet

      Reply

  41. Lu
    Aug 29, 2012 @ 15:57:14

    Thank you much Janet, I’ll look forward to any additional input. Your response makes sense and you are correct that niether dogs are agressive. I’d love to attach a webcam to Buster’s head but I know it would not last three seconds in place.
    I forgot to thank you for your wonderful web site. Hopefully it will educate folks, especially those who do not understand these beautiful and adaptable creatures!

    Reply

  42. Bill Noble
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 21:57:39

    Janet, what an utterly amazing website, and what a treasure trove of natural history and great information. A monumental labor of love with great benefits to people — and to all the rest of us! Your website will be a permanent resource as we all slowly learn to coexist with nature.

    One comment for a few of your commenters: Feral cats. Nearly half of ALL predation on songbirds is by household and feral cats, and in most heavily settled areas many bird species can no longer reproduce at replacement rates because of it. We only have our neighborhood birds because of constant in-migration from wilder places.

    Cats are great. We (mostly) all love cats. But to feed or protect feral cats is to do a great harm. You can love animals and nature. Or you can feed feral cats. You can’t do both.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Dec 19, 2012 @ 22:24:36

      Hi Bill —

      So glad you like the site! Yes, it’s a labor of love! Cats take about 70,000 song birds a year in the US. Another issue is that putting out cat food attracts raccoons, coyotes and other predators to the area — usually neighborhood areas. Predators may progress from eating the cat food to eating the cats. If you feed feral cats, you could be shortening their lives. I’m not sure that dry food fed at mid-day with hiding tubes offer much protection. It’s just best not to leave out easily accessible food.

      Reply

  43. Bill Noble
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 22:29:52

    Actually, the American Bird Conservancy estimates, based on a wide variety of studies, that about 500 million US birds are killed annually by cats, about half by pets, half by ferals. It’s a mind-boggling number. [See, among other sources, NYT “Tweety Was Right” 3/20/11]

    Reply

  44. brian
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 03:56:08

    Just saw a beautiful large coyote running down the center of Folsom at 17th, round noon, headed downtown. I sure hope he/she is okay.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Feb 12, 2013 @ 04:22:17

      Hi Brian — Thanks for writing! Teenage coyotes are learning the ropes of urban living as they “volunteer” to move out of their natal areas, egged out by parents or siblings. I hope everyone can be as concerned about their safety as you are, and show a little patience and understanding about their situation. They’ll soon settle down. This is the time of the year they are most visible in new places. Hope your guy/gal learns about traffic quickly! Please spread positive information about him/her! Janet

      Reply

  45. Lisa Reynolds
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 04:27:35

    I’m hoping you might be able to explain a recent coyote encounter. I was hiking with my dogs in a large open space area. Two other people were as well. All of us had small dogs along. The coyote was quite far up a large hill but was barking and howling quite insistently. It seemed aimed at those of us below, particularly the male hike who was directly below the coyote. I was wondering if perhaps he and his dogs were near a kill or a den. This was on April 19, Bay Area California. I’ve seen a few coyotes out in this area but never anything so bold. This guy was really worked up about something. Thank you!
    Lisa

    Reply

    • yipps
      Apr 24, 2013 @ 05:27:00

      Hi Lisa —

      It’s hard to tell without more details. How “small” were the dogs? Were the fellow and his dogs approaching the coyote? Had the dogs chased the coyote? Or had they surprised the coyote or caught it off-guard? Were the dogs running around, or were they leashed?

      This is pupping season: pups are being born right now. If there is a den, and if you came too close to it, then, yes, the coyote could very well have been howling in hopes of dissuading anyone from coming closer. Even small dogs are a threat during pupping season — coyote pups are vulnerable and can be taken by any size dog, including wild foxes. It’s an insistent howl, but it has to be to get the message across. Hope this helps! Janet

      Reply

  46. Lisa Reynolds
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 04:48:13

    Thanks Janet. The small dogs were 12 and 10 pounds, small dachshund, etc. there was a large bird dog too. All were off leash. None close to the coyote at all though. The bird dog, (not one of mine) can really cover some ground so perhaps he was spooking the coyote. But I’m sure the owner would never have approached, in fact, he was getting the hell out of dodge. We all left fast.
    Is it likely that one of these local coyotes would take a run at one of my small dogs?
    Thanks so much for your help!
    Lisa

    Reply

    • yipps
      Apr 30, 2013 @ 20:04:30

      Hi Lisa —

      The issue isn’t whether a coyote is *likely* to take your small dog — statistically, it’s not very likely. The issue is, nevertheless, that it *could* take your dog: they have the capacity to do so if the circumstances are right.

      My question to you is, why increase the chances of this happening by walking an unleashed dog close to a place you’ve clearly been warned about: the coyote let you know it was distressed by your presence. Might you be *inviting* the coyote to come after your dog by not heeding its warning message?

      Coyotes avoid all humans — we are bigger and smarter than they are and they know it. It’s the dogs which are the issue for coyotes. Canines of all types tend not to like each other: coyotes, wolves, foxes, dogs. But they also keep “interlopers” of their own species away from critical territorial areas.

      Janet

      Reply

  47. Bill Noble
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 20:15:28

    My two cents: in relation to coyotes, dogs can be food, annoyances, competitors, predators . . . and even potential playmates (I’ve seen video of dog-coyote play). Coyotes, BTW are major predators of gray foxes, not too much unlike lots of dogs in size, whose populations have plummeted since coyotes recolonized Marin. Beyond that, though, dogs loose in our terribly limited natural habitats are a big problem, and many dog owners are clueless or contemptuous of regulations.

    Reply

    • yipps
      May 01, 2013 @ 05:18:43

      Hi Bill —

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, but what happened to most of the foxes is that they moved out — out of possible harms way — out of coyotes way — to peripheral areas. The fox population did not plummet because coyotes killed them all. Janet

      Reply

  48. Lisa Reynolds
    May 02, 2013 @ 18:35:26

    Thanks Janet and Bill!

    Reply

  49. Keli Hendricks
    May 17, 2013 @ 00:47:05

    In response to Mr. Noble’s claim that coyotes are major predators of grey fox, I am including a link to a study of coyotes predations of red fox.

    http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/cfoxint/

    While there was evidence that coyotes killed foxes on occasion, (most commonly foxes that were caught in leg hold traps) the two species often seemed indifferent to one another and were even observed denning and raising young within short distances of one another.
    Coyotes were NOT considered to be a major cause of fox mortality.
    If you check the stats at Wildcare and Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, grey foxes are most often admitted from problems associated with living alongside humans, such as poisonings. hit by cars, traps etc.. and NOT because of attacks by coyotes.

    Reply

  50. Elisabeth Dicharry
    May 26, 2013 @ 17:03:42

    Excellent Resource. Thank you for all the time, effort, and compassion you have put into this page

    Reply

  51. Mary
    Sep 18, 2013 @ 03:19:40

    I just moved into a home bordering a canyon in the East Bay. I only lived a few miles from here before and got used to seeing deer but now I see coyotes daily! At first, I was unnerved. I walk my large, leashed dog early in the morning and, the first few walks after we moved in, a coyote came into the street and walked toward us. My dog is 9 years old and a pitbull/boxer mix. He and I both were staring at the coyote, wondering what it was doing. I started to move away and walk up the nearby hill. It followed us to the bottom of the hill and then casually started walking in the other direction. A few days later, I got brave and thought we might be able to walk again without an encounter. But down the street, a coyote came out of the brush in the canyon and watched us from the curb and the other side of the street. I decided that we would drive to a park to walk the next day. When we were walking through the small park, with playgrounds and ponds, two ducks left the pond and started following us. I wondered what was it about us that wildlife is so calmly following us? My children have gotten a kick from my stories and my fears. Now, there are bi-weekly howling evenings in the canyon and I decided to get to know more about my new neighbors – the coyotes. By the way, this week we saw a grey fox on our canyon walk later in the morning! Thank you for this fascinating blog.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Sep 18, 2013 @ 03:57:28

      Hi Mary —

      Thank you for sharing this. It’s a wonderful story! I’ll be retelling it to folks who are worried about any coyote following them! Janet

      Reply

  52. Tylene Warner
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 14:10:40

    I was researching coyote scat and found your wonderful site on coyotes! I live in So Cal in a condo complex near a flood control channel. We’ve always had coyotes in the complex as long as I’ve lived here (12 years). I’ve seen several cats that have been killed by coyotes in the area. We’ve tried to educate owners not to let their cats outdoors but they don’t always listen. I’m always surprised at how clean the “kill” is……only the organs have been taken, the rest of the cat remains there.

    I’ve never seen this scat (with red berries) before in 12 years of walking in the area even though everyone has seen many coyotes in the area. That’s what led me to your site. Last night the sound of an animal squealing, obviously being attacked, woke me up. That’s when I decided to do more research. I’m wondering why I’m seeing all of this scat when I haven’t before?

    Reply

    • yipps
      Oct 27, 2013 @ 18:02:24

      Please know that when there are coyotes in an area, they are always blamed for all pet disappearances and killing — whether this is so or not. In fact, a cat could have been killed by any predator in the area: a bobcat, a raccoon, an owl, etc., or it even could have been hit by a car and then scavenged.

      Most predators tend to go for the nutritious inners of their prey first. And, coyotes more often than not will carry a carcass off with them to a safe spot where they will, at some point, eat the entire carcass.

      You may be noticing more scat now for several reasons. Foremost, you have simply become aware of it, so now you are looking for it! But also, this year’s pups are now out and about, leaving their scat everywhere — and you’re seeing it. At some point the young ones will disperse.

      Reply

  53. Francisco
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 19:26:26

    Hi,

    I just had a close encounter with a coyote yesterday. It was too close for comfort and honestly, I felt my dogs were in real danger.

    We were at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park yesterday. As you enter the park from MLK Jr Drive, there is a big lawn area just below the Lake. Ordinarily, that lawn area is packed full of small kids (there is a playground at one corner), so I’m unable to play with my dogs there. But since it was a weekday, the lawn was fairly deserted, so my dogs (3 french bulldogs on the small side) played unleashed. It was noon and getting pretty hot, so we moved from out of the open to the edge of a shady area provided by a large cypress. I was lying on the grass with them for about 10 minutes when a man walked up to me and said to be careful, there was a “fox” watching us from the shade. I sat up and looked around, and maybe 30-40 feet from us was a coyote. It was by some shrubbery, but even with the groundcover and shade, I was close enough to see that it had no collar and was NOT a stray German Shepherd. It was too big to be a fox. I also knew it was coyote because if it was a domestic dog, it would’ve probably come up to my dogs to say hi. Luckily, my dogs did not see it, and i grabbed all 3 of them by their collars so they wouldn’t run up to greet it. I sat there and watched the coyote for 5 minutes, while I dug for the leashes in my coat pocket and restrained my dogs. The 4 us sat there huddled as a tight ball till I could figure something out (the man who had warned us was now too far away for me to ask for help). The coyote was clearly not afraid of us; it didn’t move away even after I made eye contact and started yelling. I had the distinct feeling it was waiting for us to break apart as a group, so that it could determine which of us was the weakest, strongest, or most foolish. When I finally leashed the dogs, I stood up and waived my hands in the air. Only then did it back up and retreat into the brush.

    If that man hadn’t warned me about the “fox” watching us, I think things could’ve turned out tragically; the coyote was really that close. I’m all for sharing natural resources with wild animals, and from here on out, they can definitely have Golden Gate Park (and Stern Grove or Mountain Lake Park) during the weekdays. I’ll just go on the weekends like hundreds of other SF residents. But the facts are (1) the wild animals aren’t scared of us anymore; (2) they are hemmed in (at least the Golden Gate Park coyotes); and (3) the GGP coyotes are thriving (I read somewhere that there were 3 new adolescents as of 2010). Things are going to come to a head eventually but it shouldn’t take a tragedy (either a coyote death or dog death) for people to take make a more proactive approach to managing wild life in an urban area.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Nov 08, 2013 @ 20:25:37

      Hi Francisco —

      Thank you for writing. San Francisco has a proactive approach to coyote management: it’s called coexistence through education. Education is the only “tool” you need for managing coyotes.

      Your entire writeup is about your fears. Knowing something about coyotes will help alleviate your fears. You are not in danger from a coyote. You need only take minor precautions to make sure your pets and coyotes stay apart.

      I think it would be helpful for you to watch the urban coyote video presentation, “Coyotes As Neighbors”: http://youtu.be/euG7R11aXq0 You’ll learn what behaviors to expect from your dogs and coyotes and how to handle any chance encounters.

      The coyote you saw was not out to get you. Watching you out of curiosity is not a crime. You need not have huddled in fear — coyotes are more fearful of people than you are of them. You simply needed to leash your dogs and move on, or you could have shooed it off a little more forcefully. I believe Golden Gate Park is an onleash area, isn’t it?

      Please let me know if you want one-on-one assistance with how to shoo off a coyote. I’m here to help with this. Janet

      Reply

  54. Francisco
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 22:41:11

    Thank you Janet for your comments. It helps a little, but I wasn’t afraid for me, I was afraid for my small dogs. I guess what really bothered me about the whole incident is it happened in a highly touristy area of Golden Gate Park (not like the Polo fields which are pretty remote and not regularly frequented), at noon-1pm (rather than early morning/dusk when coyotes usually hunt), and we weren’t even intruding on a possible den area — we were sitting on a lawn. So, I’m definitely educated about the habits of wild animals but it clearly did not apply to this one.

    I have to say, though, that my dogs and I were also more or less napping on the grass, so pretty vulnerable and perhaps fit a “prey” profile. It’s arguable whether the coyote meant to pick off one of my small dogs. But the fact remains that the coyote didn’t budge even after I made eye contact and started yelling, which told me that this animal was not only curious but also unafraid – that’s the critical piece. Even when I got up and rose to my full height, it didn’t decide to leave right away; it kind of paced a little in place and only ducked into the brush after I feigned taking a couple of steps in its direction.

    I don’t know how long it had been there watching us, but it was close enough that I could see the silver tips on its fur. Maybe that was the point; it wanted me to know that it was there.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Nov 08, 2013 @ 23:49:36

      Hi Francisco —

      I think this was perfectly normal behavior for a coyote. Coyotes in urban areas watch their surroundings and soon learn the critical distances they need to maintain as they go about their business of living. Nonetheless, coyotes retain their innate wariness of humans — that is why you were able to scare it off. This particular coyote may be a youngster who has not been shooed off before. It will soon learn what shooing off is about and will flee a little more quickly next time. It is something coyotes have to learn. Coyotes are not nocturnal, so you can see them at any time of the day, and they do trek through more populated areas. This doesn’t mean they will attack you. You still have to guard your pets — but you have to do this anyway: statistically, small dogs are much more vulnerable to attacks by larger dogs and from cars than they are from coyotes.

      I don’t think you can say that the coyote “wanted me to know that it was there.” More than likely, it was there first, possibly sleeping under a bush, when you arrived. Dr. Stan Gehrt, a coyote specialist at Ohio State University, has radio-collared some of the coyotes he’s studying in the Chicago area. He can drive around in his specially-equipped van and point out which shrubs are hiding coyotes — right in the middle of very populated areas.

      I’m not sure I know what you mean by a “prey profile”. Please remember that no small pets should be left unsupervised in an open area: I would say that they were unattended if you were napping.

      Reply

  55. ALE
    Nov 26, 2013 @ 21:38:01

    Hi, thanks for your good information! I recently moved after 35 years in the Castro District to San Rafael, across from a vacant hillside and open space. We have already seen racoons, squirrels, deer and a family of wild turkeys. Early this morning, around 2:30 a.m. we heard barking and yelping right outside of our house going on for several minutes, then I saw a coyote walking up the road. In reviewing your blog and other sites, I was surprised to learn they do actually “bark”. It sounded like a dog for awhile but different. Come to think of it, I have not seen the wild turkeys lately??? What do you think?

    Reply

    • yipps
      Nov 26, 2013 @ 23:22:01

      It sounds like you moved to a good place for wildlife! Yes, coyotes do bark, but, as you noted, it sounds a little different from dogs and often breaks into the yipping or howling you normally associate with a coyote. As for the disappearing wild turkeys, they could have moved on or become dinner. Here is behavior I found very interesting: Packs And Loners.

      Reply

  56. creekwaterwoman
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 22:02:04

    I love this blog, and absolutely love the photos of happy coyotes. It makes me feel good to know there are people educating others about coyotes.

    Reply

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