Sunday, December 1, 2013
|Eastern coyote caught on my wildlife camera in Brandon Township, Michigan|
(The mound behind the coyote is a large anthill)
The heading in The Oakland Press front page story screamed, "2 Coyotes spotted in recent weeks". I decided to sit down and read the story since there is absolutely nothing unusual about coyotes being in Oakland County. The eastern coyote, our native wild canid, is found in every county in the State of Michigan including our highly urbanized areas. So why the news story about a coyote being seen in Oakland County?
I cringed as I read the rest of the story about coyotes in the Village of Lake Orion as if that was a rare event. The story included a police officer stating that he believed the "the coyote had a nest in someones backyard".And from the Lake Orion Village Police Chief ,"While coyote are typically afraid of humans the fact they are nesting closer to neighborhoods means they could get more comfortable with that environment." Fact of the matter is we are "nesting" in their habitat and have created a mecca of more good habitat for them with our landscaping techniques interspersed with woodlands and fields.
Coyotes are very much a part of the natural scene in Oakland County and are adapting to our ways faster than we learn about their ways. Sightings increase in December primarily because with leaves down we can see them! During summer and autumn the leafy cover of Oakland County provided great cover. As for coyote nests; I have seen bird nests and mouse nests and squirrel nests but never a coyote nest. Coyotes establish large territories and during spring dig dens for raising pups.
Want something to fear?
Fear the texting and distracted drivers that infest our highways leading to injuries and deaths. Fear the drunk drivers. Fear aggressive off-leash dogs.When it comes to coyotes, learn about their behavior and how we should behave if we come in close contact. Rule number one is never ever run from a coyote. Keep them fearful of humans by standing your ground, yelling, throwing things and never ever giving access to a food source. Keep coyotes wild by respecting their wild ways!