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Tag Archives: Coyote
Well I’m sure they sometimes do, but on my morning walks along East Main Street and Eastern Point I quite often see coyote poop in the middle of the road. I always wonder what that is about. I agree that most wild animals do their doo in the woods, which is natural for them to do. Does anyone have any thoughts on why the coyotes seem to prefer the middle of the road? I think they do it to spite us – sort of a coyote’s way of saying: “FU humans for taking over and destroying my habitat and then trying to run me away when I eat your tasty little cats and dogs that you leave out unattended as easy prey.” Or maybe they’re saying: “If you humans are going to mess up my bathroom with your dog poop in plastic bags, I’ll just go out here in the road.” What do you think it means, if anything?
I’m actually pretty sure it is coyote scat. I have been coming across these piles recently (pretty large dog poop size piles) in the road and on the sidewalks along Eastern Point. At first I thought they were left behind by very inconsiderate dog owners, but then started seeing them out in the road, where I can’t imagine any conscientious dog owner would allow their dog to do their do. If you look close, you can see berries or something in there that I don’t think of as typical dog diet stuff. Anyone have any other ideas?
He stopped, looked both ways, looked at me stopped again and proceeded to trot past me on his way to the Seine fields.
While walking very early by Niles Pond one morning recently, the peace and serenity of the place was suddenly shattered by the persistent distressed crying of a duck at the far wooded end of the pond. I looked for her and the cause of her distress, but it took some time to locate her in the reeds. Then I saw the reason for her mournful cries. This coyote had apparently gotten her mate and possibly her babies as well. I couldn’t see what he was feeding on, but her cries made it obvious that it was something very dear to her, and since there was no mate at her side, I assumed he must have been watching the nest while she went out to feed and was caught unawares by the coyote.
When I started photographing, both he and the duck looked in my direction. He seemed to know I was too far away to be of any concern to him, so he yawned and went on about his business. The duck however kept looking in my direction and crying, as though pleading with me to do something. My heart went out to that poor devastated creature. I know coyotes need to eat, and it is better for him to feed on a duck than someone’s pet cat or dog, but it still made for a sad start to my day, and a much sadder start for her’s. The coyote however was satisfied.
Adapt or Die Baby. Flat Out One Of The Most Brilliant Defense Mechanisms On Display I’ve Ever Seen.
I don’t care how hungry that coyote is that’s creeping up on the deer. Deer lets one rip like this and the pack of coyotes are like “We out man. I don’t want any part of that stank ass!” Diabolical!!!
I’m guessing that was a three day old chili fart. Had to be right? I just hope the deer had some toilet paper laying around so it could do a wipe check. Don’t want any poop remnants that might have snuck out making your deer butt all stanky. Gotta at least give it one or two test wipes to make sure it’s all clear back there.
That deer in West Gloucester that got surrounded by the coyotes last year could have learned a thing or two from farting deer. Would have saved itself a whole lot of time and aggravation during the standoff. Shoulda just let one rip and that pack of coyote would have high tailed it back to Canada STAT!
BTW this post is for new subscriber Bill.
Meet The Coywolf on PBS Tonight at 8 PM. Find out where all that howling at the moon on Cape Ann is coming from.
The coywolf, a mixture of western coyote and eastern wolf, is a remarkable new hybrid carnivore that is taking over territories once roamed by wolves and slipping unnoticed into our cities. Its appearance is very recent — within the last 90 years — in evolutionary terms, a blip in time. Beginning in Canada but by no means ending there, the story of how it came to be is an extraordinary tale of how quickly adaptation and evolution can occur, especially when humans interfere. Tag along as scientists study this new top predator, tracking it from the wilderness of Ontario’s Algonquin Park, through parking lots, alleys and backyards in Toronto all the way to the streets of New York City. -PBS
In 56 minutes I doubt they will even scratch the surface of the interesting parts. If they say “evolution” more than twice, “mitochondrial DNA sequencing” even once, I will eat my lab coat. But it is the Nature show on PBS and they might be even handed about the subject and they might even spice it up with some real science from real scientists instead of “scientists say …”
 Looking for coywolf cameltoe to toughen up this post and there is no Rubber Duck at all. She has locked herself in her room crying.
Thank you so much Sandra for sending your photo.
Note to readers interested in submitting a locally spotted coyote: Please don’t be concerned about the quality of the image. I think it is very helpful to collect documentation while we are learning as a community how to address the growing coyote problem. Please provide location and time of day.
Send photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Today! The Eastern Coyote in New England Sponsored by Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary Sat, Jan 11, 2014
I hope Kim Or Paul or both go to this and get some interesting info to share.
This is what I know about coyotes:
If there was a child attacked by a coyote the news media would blast it all over the place but you don’t hear about those incidents so that gives me a little comfort.
On the other hand if you have a pulse and can see then you have most definitely seen an uptick from no coyote sightings 10 years ago to weekly sightings today.
I understand there are people who would rather see people’s pets eaten rather than take some type of action. I just hope that the current trends of seeing them more and more during the day and seeing them more often doesn’t end up turn into something where people can’t even go for a walk.
The Eastern Coyote in New England
Sponsored by Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
Sat, Jan 11, 2014 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield
Christine Schadler – Wild Canid Ecologist and New England representative for Project Coyote, a national group promoting coexistence with coyotes.
The howling in New England has returned! Since 1900, when the eastern wolf retreated into southern Ontario, our woods have not known a top predator. Since the 1940s, however, the bark and howl of the eastern coyote has resonated from pasture to mountain. Today, thousands of coyotes occupy New England, but unlike their smaller western cousin, our coyotes are part wolf, can hunt in packs to take deer, and are filling the niche of the wolf. Come learn about the natural history of this adaptable mammal and get answers to any questions or concerns you may have from an expert. How we rethink our woods as a domain to be shared will ultimately determine our success in adapting to life with this amazing predator.
Make it a day – bring a bag lunch and sign up for Tracking Predators with Bob Metcalfe in the afternoon from 12:30-4:30 pm.
Instructions and Directions:
Meets in the Barn.
Registration is required.
Call to register 978-887-9264.
Register by mail: program registration form (PDF 66K)
For your own security, DO NOT send credit card information via email.
For more information, contact:
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary
87 Perkins Row
Topsfield, MA 01983
While filming along the berm between Niles Pond and Brace Cove at 11:30 today, my dog Rosie had a near death experience. I was crouched down on a lower rock and Rosie was sitting on the rock above me waiting while I was photographing. Suddenly all the birds took flight. I didn’t think too much of it because that happens seemingly at random sometimes. Rosie was engrossed in watching the birds, too. I stood up and charging toward her, not ten feet away, was a coyote. Upon seeing me as I stood up, the coyote hightailed it down the path towards the scrubby, wooded area between the pond and the sand.
Started out overcast then started to rain, but just as I was ready to head for cover, the sun came out and the coyote jumped for joy. So beautiful to see all those schooners.
The other morning I went for a walk out Eastern Point. I had my awesome new/used camera that Paul Frontiero gave me and decided to walk around Niles Pond and see if the turtles were basking on the rocks. As I rounded the corner on Niles Pond Road, there in the middle of the road stood a coywolf. We stared at each other for a few seconds and I slowly started to raise my camera, at which point he bolted into the woods. I started to follow but then thought better of it and headed back to Eastern Point Road, looking over my shoulder every now and then to make sure he wasn’t following me. I walked a little further up Eastern Point and decided to go up Fort Hill Road, which I’d never walked before. As I started up, there again was the coywolf staring at me. This time he was further away so I raised my camera, zoomed in on him and quickly grabbed a shot before he disappeared again. Zoomed too much and too fast, so a little blurry.
I think he probably thought I was stalking him as much as I thought he was stalking me. First I’ve seen one, so it was exciting, but a little unnerving.
Are Coyotes the Cause of an Increase in Lyme Disease?
Struck by the recent interest in coyotes after the fascinating video Two Coyotes Versus One Deer by Shawn Henry was posted on GMG, I became interested in reading various studies and reports about coyotes, wolves, and foxes in Massachusetts and the Northeast. My primary interest at the onset was of concern for the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), which has seen a tremendous decline in numbers. I wondered if the presence of coyotes (Canis latrans) was negatively impacting the Red Fox. In the past, I often saw a Red Fox in the early morning hours trotting along the shoreline at Brace Cove. I wish so much that I had filmed the last that one that I saw because it was a gorgeous scene; a strikingly beautiful creature so completely unaware of my presence and so at home in its realm, investigating rock and seaweed, pausing to sniff the air, and then resuming its journey. The last time I saw a Red Fox in our neighborhood was over three years ago. As I was reading about coyotes I learned the findings of some of the most recent studies indicate that because Eastern Coyotes out-compete the Red Fox, the coyotes are the cause of an increase in Lyme disease. More on that in a moment.
The coyotes that now inhabit every region in Massachusetts are an invasive species. They are a hybrid cross species of the Western Coyote (found west of the Mississippi) and Red Wolf (Canis lupus rufus). “Researchers now believe that the Eastern Coyote is a hybridization between the Western Coyote and Red Wolf many generations ago in the upper Great Lakes region of the United States. It is theorized that as populations of the Western Coyote increased, they were forced to move east and north in search of food. As they moved into Minnesota they crossbred with Gray/Red Wolves and produced a genetically hardy animal able to sustain itself through New England winters.” (Mass Audubon)
Coyotes are not “re-populating” this region because this new species was never in our region.
Eastern Coyotes have extremely broad food habits and many factors affect the coyotes’ diet, including competition with other mammals, abundance of prey, season, and weather. In the Northeast, their diet consists of shrews, rabbits, voles, woodchucks, mice, deer, beaver, muskrat, weasels, squirrels, and carrion. And according to Mass Audubon, “They eat ground-nesting birds and their eggs, as well as reptiles and amphibians. When other prey is scarce they will eat a variety of insects including grasshoppers, beetles and cicadas. When animal matter is scarce, they will eat available fruits including apples, cherries, grapes, and strawberries.”
The rapid invasion of the alien Eastern Coyote has negatively impacted many sympatric native species, as the coyote has assumed the role of top-order predator. The coyote has fundamentally altered the existing ecosystem and various species have experienced population declines as a direct result of their role as coyote prey or from direct competition for food. “Culturally and ecologically significant species including Red Fox decline dramatically in response to increasing coyote populations. Eastern Coyote and Red Fox share many common habitat requirements and occupy overlapping niches. Through time, the larger and more resilient coyote is able to out-compete and displace resident fox populations.” (Department of Natural Resources, Maryland.)
Studies have shown repeatedly that Eastern Coyote predation on deer is minimal. Most herds can handle the coyotes. Typically coyotes have success with fawns that are 4-5 weeks old (after they have become more active and are not by the mother’s side), weakened and sickly adults, and deer separated from the herd. These targets represent approximately one or two percent of the total deer population. While coyote diet studies show consistently the use of deer for food, it does not appear that coyote limit deer population on a regional scale.
Although the population of White-tailed Deer has stabilized, Lyme disease continues to increase. In June of 2012 researchers at the University of California Santa Cruz published their findings from the study “Deer, Predators, and the Emergence of Lyme Disease.” (Taal Levi, lead author.)
The study found that once where there was an abundance of Red Foxes, there is now an abundance of Eastern Coyotes. Even more significantly, fewer coyotes will inhabit an area once populated by more foxes. The greater number of foxes would have consumed a larger number of small tick-bearing animals, primarily White-footed Mice, Short-tailed Shrews, and Eastern Chipmunks, all of which transmit Lyme disease bacteria to ticks. It appears as though it is the Red Fox that once kept the population of these smaller rodents under control.
Even when there is a threefold rise in deer population, study after study now shows that the strongest predictors of a current year’s risk of Lyme disease are an abundance of acorns two years previously. How does that work?
Many acorns = many healthy mice and chipmunks.
Many healthy mice and chipmunks = many tick nymphs.
The following year when it may not be a bumper acorn crop = fewer mice.
Fewer mice and chipmunk = dogs and humans become vectors for the ticks.
While acorns don’t serve as a universal predictor because Lyme disease can be traced to forests where there are no oak trees, the data suggest that food sources and predators of small forest mammals are likely to be valuable in predicting Lyme disease risk for humans.
To summarize, multiple studies suggest that the invasive Eastern Coyote out-competes and kills the native Red Fox population, which leads to a rise in the number of small animals particularly the White-footed Mouse and Eastern Chipmunk, which in turn leads to an increase in ticks that carry Lyme disease. The impact of the Eastern Coyote on native deer population is negligible. And, as many family’s can attest, the impact of the Eastern Coyote on populations of domestic cats and small dogs has been devastating.
Typically the excuse given for unwanted encounters with wildlife is that people are encroaching on the animal’s habitat. That simply is not the case with the Eastern Coyote. The Eastern Coyote is advancing on humans–and they like what they see; no large predators, a reluctance on the part of people to hunt and trap, and an abundance of food. The environmentally and culturally destructive chain reaction caused by the Eastern Coyote invasion is taking on added urgency as the coyote strikes closer and closer to home.
It is legal in the state of Massachusetts to shoot and kill a coyote from your home. If confronted by a coyote, make as much noise as possible, if attacked, fight back aggressively.
Images courtesy Google image search.
Everyone knows that coyotes have moved onto Cape Ann and Cape Cod but did you know they are actually a new hybrid with the eastern wolf? The DNA typing of this new species is just in its infancy. Mostly using mitochondrial DNA to get a rough understanding but now that genomic sequencing is much cheaper a more detailed picture is forming. Some coyotes trapped have come up as 90% eastern wolf DNA! These hybrids, I’ll call them coywolf from now on, are bigger than coyotes. They are very sociable, live in family packs and can have a range of ten square miles. That is a decent chunk of Cape Ann. I would guess though if the food is plentiful they would hang in one region near their den.
Should you be fearful of these coywolves? You shouldn’t. In fact we should be happy they are here. They fill the niche that the wolf filled here for centuries and now she is back. They eat deer, mice, rabbits, all those small animals. The deer and mice are key. Lyme disease has a life cycle that explodes when deer and mice populations increase. Knocking down both of these populations will keep Lyme disease in check.
Yes, the coywolves will eat your cat but your cat should not be out there anyway. Feral and outdoor cats eat more than 3 billion birds in the US annually. You can’t blame them. They have been trained to do this since ancient egyptian times protecting granaries from vermin. They don’t even eat them just killing one bird after another. Keep your cat inside and let these coywolves keep the population of Lyme disease plagued vermin like deer and mice down to tolerable levels. They are a perfect fit for Cape Ann. They don’t like to eat birds. And if you find a dead coywolf I need just a very small blood sample to run a genetic haplotype test to see how much of a wolf she was. But please do not hunt them. They are doing us all a big favor. Imagine going for a hike in Dogtown and having no fear of being covered by disease ridden deer ticks. If you’ve had Lyme disease you should kiss a wolf on the lips for moving into your neighborhood. They might even take out a fishercat or two.
If the genetic testing of the coywolves on Cape Ann come up as over 80% wolf DNA we can drop the hybrid coywolf name. That is a wolf.
[3/26/13 edit] Lots of great comments on this article. For some local information on wolves go to Wolf Hollow in Ipswich:
In light of the shitstorm I thought I’d create these here polls to really access where our readership falls. I have a hard time believing the people that are rooting for the coyotes are nothing more than fringe lunatics who hate people.
It’s one or the other who are you gonna root for?
This poor coyote must have gotten hit by a vehicle within the past few hours as the blood was still vibrant red.
RIP Mr Coyote. Hope your life on the island was a good one.
I was fumbling with my camera as I figured the coyote would take off and there would be very little time to take the picture. He did take off, and circled back to the footbridge where I snapped a lousy shot with the terrible light and the coyote moving around. Heart racing a bit making it difficult to hold the camera steady for the long exposure shot. I did my best though and this is what I came up with-
I nearly shit when I turned the corner on the footbridge and came face to face with the coyote. Forgive my blurry, out of focus picture but my heart was beating a mile a minute and I wasn’t going to stick around to see what it was going to do next. You can click the picture and select “all sizes” to see a bigger version of the shot.