*FIRST: A Guidelines/Safety Box:

1) A VIDEO ON COYOTE BEHAVIORS, GUIDELINES & DOGS: a one-stop video, by me, on urban coyote behavior and how to coexist with them, how to handle encounters, and why culling doesn’t solve issues:

Versión en Español   好鄰居–郊狼”   Condensed English version

*A protocol clarification for when walking a dog  (not addressed in the video): Your safest option always is flat-out, absolute AVOIDANCE: Whether you see a coyote in the distance, approaching you, or at close range, leash your dog and walk away from it, thus minimizing any potential dog/coyote confrontation or engagement. If you choose to shoo it away, follow the guidelines in the videos, but know that what’s safest is proactive, preventative unmitigated avoidance: i.e., walk away.


2) MORE LINKS TO COYOTE BEHAVIOR & DOGS:

citizencoyote-by-janetkesslerPress on image above for another introductory video on coyotes

  • CoyoteCoexistence.com for additional coexistence information.

  • Take a SHORT “Coyote Experiences and Opinion” Survey! images

*A Quote Worth Pondering (blog follows)

“If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other.  If you do not talk to them you will not know them, and what you do not know you will fear.  What one fears one destroys.”      Chief Dan George

Charles Wood, a frequent contributor to Coyote Yipps, adds: “I want to try and express Chief Dan George’s words a little differently, though I believe the meaning is the same: ‘If you talk to the animals they will talk to you and you will come to know them. When you come to know them, you will love them, with respect, without fear. What one fears one destroys. What one loves one defends.'”

For more photos, visit UrbanCoyoteSquared: A Gallery.

ACTUAL BLOG WITH LATEST POST BEGINS BELOW

Coyotes: Beyond the Howl, An Educational Exhibit by Janet Kessler

In case you might have a burning interest to know more about coyotes, visit my exhibit which is going up next Sunday at the Sausalito Library and will run for 6 weeks! It’s more of an educational exhibit than anything else, showing some of their constant interactions. The more people understand how social they are, the easier it will be to accept and even embrace them.

Coyotes are social and, except for some transients, live in families. The 28 large 24”x16” zoomed-in snapshots in this exhibit show some of their less-seen behaviors and interactions, as well as their individuality: each coyote looks different, and the differences reach deeper than their fur. Short howling and hunting video clips are included. An explanation of a few relevant survival behaviors and some simple guidelines help round out “the picture” of these neighbors who are becoming a more visible part of the urban landscape.

Janet Kessler a.k.a, “the Coyote Lady” in San Francisco, has been called a, “pioneer in the photo-documentation of the lives of urban coyotes, capturing their intimate lives”. She is a self-taught naturalist and urban coyote specialist who, daily over the past 11 years, has been documenting coyote family life, their behavior towards people and pets — and our pets’ behavior towards them — and getting information and easy coexistence guidelines out to everyone. Google her “Coyotes As Neighbors” video, and visit: Coyoteyipps.com.

Dates: January 28 to March 10, 2018

Hours:

  • Monday-Thursday 10am-9pm daily
  • Friday-Saturday 10am-5pm
  • Sunday noon-5pm

Place: Sausalito Public Library, located in the City Hall building at 420 Litho Street in Sausalito Enter parking lot from Bee Street (off Caledonia Street). From San Francisco, take a ferry ride over!

Janet will be in and out. If you have questions, just seek her out, or contact her through her blog, coyoteyipps.com

[Press Here for Flyer]

A Pup Called Trouble, by Bobbie Pyron

In 2012, I visited New York City for the first time. I was going there to accept a rather prestigious award from The Dog Writers Association of American (yes, there really is such a thing) for my children’s novel, A DOG’S WAY HOME. The week before I left, I saw a story on national news about a young coyote being chased through the streets of downtown Manhattan by the police and animal control. What in the world, I wondered, was a coyote doing in New York City?

I live high in the mountains of Park City, Utah. Moose, deer, mountain lions, fox, and coyotes are not uncommon sights here. And like my wild neighbors, I am most comfortable in the woods, on a trail, away from people, cars, and the incessant noise of a city. Like, I imagined, that coyote in New York City.

During the four days I spent in Manhattan, I explored the city. I’d never seen buildings so tall. I was both amazed and distressed by the way they cut the endless sky into thin slivers. The sounds and smells of the city overwhelmed my senses, and yet, I was always curious about what was just around that next corner. As I explored the city, that young coyote was my shadow. I saw everything through its eyes: the stone canyons of skyscrapers, the people with their cell phones, the beauty of Central Park. By the time I got back on the plane to return to the mountains, I had the story that would become A PUP NAMED TROUBLE nestled in my heart.

I wrote two other children’s novels—THE DOGS OF WINTER and LUCKY STRIKE—over the next six years, but I never forgot about that coyote in New York City. In my other life, I’m a librarian. I love doing research. During those years, I read everything I could about urban coyotes. I learned that coyotes had made themselves quite at home in cities from Atlanta to Portland. I read with curiosity and deepening admiration the extent of their adaptability. When it came time to work on a new book, I knew exactly what I would write about.

In my new book, A PUP CALLED TROUBLE (Harpercollins/Katherine Tegen Books, Feb. 2018), a young coyote with an abundance of curiosity finds himself whisked away from his home in the wilds of New Jersey and, like Dorothy in THE WIZARD OF OZ, plunked down in a world he could never imagine: downtown New York City.  Using my memories of how I felt in NYC and the research I’d done, I created this young coyote’s own Oz, populated by Makers (humans), Beasts (cars), an evil “witch” (an animal control officer) intent on catching him, and friends—a crow, an opossum, a poodle, and an equally curious young girl—who help him find his way home.

My great, good hope is that readers of A PUP CALLED TROUBLE will come to appreciate that no matter where they live, whether in the mountains or the city, they have wild neighbors. And sharing their community with these critters is a privilege, not a threat or nuisance. Whether it’s a red-tailed hawk soaring above skyscrapers, an opossum ambling through the garden, or a coyote trotting along a street on a winter night, they can fill us with awe and wonder. Something we could all use a little more of.

[Please visit Bobbie Pyron’s website to learn more about her: www.bobbiepyron.com]

Photos: All Wet in San Francisco

It’s been raining. Yay! Before last year, San Francisco went through a four-year drought, so we love the rain here. I don my rain gear and go splash in the puddles.

Coyotes don’t mind the rain, though I don’t know if they actually *like* it. It’s during rains that gophers, voles and other rodents come to the surface to keep from drowning in their underground tunnels — coyotes seem to know this.
And when a coyote shakes out her rain-wetted coat, dirt that has accumulated gets tossed out as well.

Here are a couple of shots of wet coyotes from the last couple of rains. In the first photo, droplets are clinging to each fur and to the coyote’s whiskers — and the camera caught the rain coming down around her. The second photo is of a totally soaked coyote — she’s been out in the rain for a while!

Rat Poison Continues to Harm Our Urban Wildlife

Before dawn this morning, this barn owl flew to a street sign and looked around for food. This individual, of a normally very alert species, remained on its perch as I approached to within ten (10) feet and stood there.

Poisons dull the way these animals react: this bird should have flown off.  The new rat poisons attack an animal’s nerves and this is what is happening here. Soon, the owl will succumb because his senses will be too dulled to hunt, and too dulled to protect himself.

One year ago, at this time of the year, I found a dead coyote which was found to have been killed by massive amounts of rat poison. Please read the article below: it has the best information I know of about rat poison and its effect on our urban wildlife. It also has a section at the bottom of the page on How To Handle A Rodent Problem.

http://wc.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=Animal_Emails_RodenticideResultsBarnOwl_March2014

What is a Coydog?

This urban coyote, to me, is a little strange looking. The other 9-month olds that I know do not look quite like this (see photos below). I’m not sure I can say exactly *how* he looks different — possibly he’s just a little bit compressed or stunted in size? But maybe I’m wrong: it did occur to me that his oddness might just be a variation of normal that I’m simply not accustomed to. That would be good news. Alternately, he could be *handicapped* or even *challenged* in some way, and that would be bad news. OR, I even wondered if there might be the possibility that he’s an urban coydog? Probably not, but I decided to do a posting on coydogs.

The Coydog is a hybrid between a coyote and a dog. It has many features common to the coyote, both temperamentally and in appearance. A true coydog is 1/2 coyote: it has one pure coyote as one of its parents. Coydogs are MUCH less common than people think. For one, coyotes have a once-a-year breeding season (January through March), while dogs are on a twice-a-year schedule which is well after the coyote’s. The vast majority of reported or claimed “coydogs” are not coyote crosses at all, but simply husky or German shepherd crosses that look vaguely coyote-ish.

Coydogs vary in appearance, depending on which dogs they have bred with. I found that, “they can be differentiated by their typical dark neonatal hair color, a white face mask, ebony coat color in adulthood, and a bushy, downward tail. Like the coyotes, their ears are triangular, and they have piercing eyes.”

It is not known whether fertility drops in coydogs — it does not drop with wolf/dog breeding. Coydogs do only two things that wolves & dogs don’t do: they have the unique ability to gape (instead of a doglike snarl) like its coyote parent, when threatened. And, they can emit a hissing sound like a cat, which other dogs can’t. Besides these two similarities, coydogs make sounds that are a fusion of a howl and a high pitch bark.

The individual disposition of coydogs might range from a shy, timid nature, to a gentle, friendly one, to one who is so overly fearful that it would feel threatened and afraid very easily, resulting in aggression or even biting. Coydogs, as coyotes, are very territorial. Their behavior is skittish and can be outright aggressive towards “intruders”. This is one of the reasons they do not make good pets.Another reason is that they need lots of individual affection and care — much like a human child — which is, of course, what their parents give them. They are intelligent, aggressive (compared to most domestic dogs), strong, loyal and energetic.

Most 9-month old coyotes look like this

another 9-month old

Humans Caring

These videos are old, but they tell a really sweet story of human kindness. We should all be aware that when we take over the environment for our own use, we inevitably destroy habitat for other critters. The human in this video, once he realized what he had done, does his best, and succeeds, in helping a youngster out of its dilemma. The event must have been terrifying for the youngster who was not used to humans, but through eye-to-eye contact might he/she have been able to read the benevolence in the big man? It’s how coyotes read each other.

The story: Two years ago, David Bradley was digging through a pile of bedrock to run through his rock crusher when he realized there was a coyote den right there. “On first breaking it open, 4 coyotes ran off. Going back for another rock I uncovered this little guy. The den had collapsed around him trapping him 5 foot below ground. Amazingly enough, even though I couldn’t possibly know that he was there, I didn’t hurt him, and when I moved the next rock he was just ‘there’.” The text continues, so make sure to read it beneath the video on YouTube.

 

Diverting Attention

The coyote had made herself very visible on the side of the hill during the early dawn hours, sitting there and watching the sparse activity on the path and street below: a few walkers, dog-walkers, workers and traffic. Whenever she spotted a perceived potential *threat*, she ran out onto the path in front of whomever she was worried about, forcing attention towards herself so that the youngster up the hill would not be noticed; or she ran onto the path in back of a dog to make sure dog was moving on. A couple of times she got too close to a dog and the dog reacted by growling and barking. But when the dog and walker moved on with a shortened leash, as I advised, that was always the end of it: this is what the coyote wanted.

I looked up and saw the youngster there watching the goings-on. When looked at directly, he moved to a bushier part of the hill and watched from behind the thicker foliage — this was a shy one.

Soon Mom headed down the street a ways while maintaining eye-contact with the youngster, and then she stood in the middle of the street, eyeing the youngster repeatedly. At this point, it became apparent that she was trying to coax the youth in her direction so that she could take him away from the open space. He was too fearful, and during her ten minute effort he did not come. So Mom returned to the hill and sat there close to the path, again drawing attention to herself apparently as a ploy to keep attention away from the kid. It worked: no one saw the kid except me while I observed.

By the next day, the youngster had still not left that space. Maybe reinforcements were needed to entice the little guy to leave, because now, there were two adult females with him. I spotted the three of them sleeping together on the incline before dawn.  The second female was much more reclusive than the first one — she made no attempt to serve as a decoy. Instead, she, too, remained as hidden as possible, similarly to the youngster, while the first female performed as she had the previous day. You would have thought that during the night there might have been a change in the situation, but there had not been.

On the third day, the lot was vacant! I guess the two adult females had accomplished their mission! The day before had been one of the few times I had seen that particular second female whose relationship to the family I have not figured out. Some coyotes are much more reclusive than others. Most likely, she would be related: either a yearling pup herself from the year before, a sister, or even a parent or aunt of the mother coyote. Coyotes are territorial, and it’s only family groups that live in any particular vicinity, keeping all other coyotes — intruders — out of the picture. This is one reason they feel territorial towards dogs.

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