Sunday, June 17, 2007

Urban Coyotes

Two days of the last week, my wife and I have spotted coyotes near our Seattle apartment unit. She saw a group of three near our parking lot and together we saw one on the drive up to our building. It makes me really happy that there are predators in our neighborhood. Of all the mammalian predators, coyotes are the most likely to inhabit urban areas. Here are some specifics about them from Wikipedia:

Size and appearance: A member of the dog family, it stands about 24 inches at the shoulder, weighs 20-25 pounds and is 3.3 to 4.3 feet long, including its roughly footlong tail. The fur is long, coarse and generally grizzled, buff above and whitish below. It has reddish legs and a bushy, black-tipped tail. There is considerable local variation in size and color.

Characteristics: Noted for nightly serenades of short yaps and mournful howls, it is primarily nocturnal and hunts alone or in relays. Coyotes are intelligent animals with a reputation for cunning and swiftness. They can sometimes attain a speed of 40 mph. They virtually never attack humans.

How do they survive in Seattle, and why are they in our backyard? Our apartment abuts on one side with a golf course where coyotes have frequented for 20 years, and the other side consists of sloping brush down to the Burke-Gilman trail. Just beyond the trail is an old military base now called Magnusen Park. Coyotes love to den in ravines, and there are several near our place. They eat rodents and small pets - both menu items abound in Seattle. My guess is that they use the Burke-Gilman trail as a conduit. The wildlife service estimates that there are thousands of coyotes in King County.

I will be looking forward this summer to nightly serenades of short yaps and mournful howls.

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.