Monday, July 23, 2007

Seattle Coyotes

I made a post recently about the coyotes that have taken up residence this year in the woods near my apartment complex, so was pleased to read on the front page of the web version of the Seattle P-I about the rise of the urban coyote in Seattle. Because my wife and I work long and odd hours in the lab, we regularly encounter these cute little beasties on our walks from the bus stop. We have seen a parent and 4 pups together in our parking lot, as well as numerous singles. Once one sat near the common pool area just checking out my wife as she walked by. We most frequently see the coyotes at the top of a parking lot, so I explored that area last weekend, and found lots of evidence of their presence. My treasures included freshly dispersed grouse feathers, worn paths, occasional tracks and lots of scat. I dissected some of the scat to find crushed large bones, a few rodent femurs and several bird talons. Some of the scat consisted entirely of fur and hair. Thankfully, my wife thought this little dissection project was interesting enough to allow me to do it inside our apartment!

Many of the comments about this article (& the content of the story) over at the P-I focus on the predators' impact on pet populations. Because of my allergy, I have never been very fond of cats, but my wife is. Whenever we encounter a friendly cat on our walks around the neighborhood, my wife pets it and give it a friendly reminder to stay close to home so as not to become coyote chow. I haven't heard her telling the same thing to the rats and moles...

For lots of great info about coyotes, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife site. If you see a coyote, you can report it at Northwest Coyote Tracker, as featured on King5 (click for video.) Monday 7/23. The Google map appears to be focused in south and central Seattle. I'll be emailing the mapkeeper my reports to get more representation from No'Seattle!

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