Recent comments and correspondence have led us to realize that some people still are not aware that coyotes are pretty much everywhere around the peninsula (here’s our map). So, when something like this note from Bill comes in, we need to share it:
My wife was walking our dog this morning in the Westwood area when she came across a coyote with a black cat in its mouth. This happened on 32nd Ave between Thistle and Cloverdale. Just want to give all of our neighbors near here a heads-up.
Everything you want to know about coyotes – including what to do when you see one – is here.
A two-part update tonight regarding West Seattle coyotes: First, thanks to everyone who has shared recent sightings, which we’ll be adding to the map that debuted here back in May, with locations of the sighting reports we’ve received periodically since 2007. Nothing particularly unusual about the latest sightings – just further proof that coyotes are all over the peninsula; the sightings included the Admiral District, Seaview, Gatewood, West Seattle High School vicinity, Hamilton Viewpoint vicinity, Arbor Heights. One included a warning from a Fauntleroy resident who believes a coyote killed their cat in late July; their neighbor heard a commotion and found the cat in his driveway, three days after another local family lost a pet. The resident says, “People should be warned to keep their pets inside at night, especially.”
That brings us to the Seola Beach situation we first reported in late June, after learning that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division had been called in to investigate the possibility of “aggressive coyotes” (here’s our original report). We finally got back in touch with Wildlife Services’ regional assistant director Ken Gruver late last week after a few bouts of protracted phone tag. He in turn checked in with the field agent who was reported to be working with neighbors upset by coyote attacks on two dogs last spring.
Two weeks after our first report about a federal coyote hunter dispatched to Seola Beach in southwest West Seattle after two dog deaths, no official update yet on the U.S. Wildlife Services‘ “fact-finding mission” (as a regional manager described it) there – we just checked back and learned all the local managers are out of state this week. However, we did get a coyote-sighting report from that same area this morning, sent by Jamie:
My husband came across coyotes in mid-hunt early this morning, about 5 am, while walking out of our house and to his car. He saw them snatch a small animal; he was pretty sure it was a cat.
We live right at the top of the Seola Beach ravine/greenbelt at 35th and 108th. The exact spot when the coyotes confronted the woman and her dog last fall. Thought I would report it in case anyone in the area misses their cat today…
It’s been a busy day for lost-and-found pet reports, but we haven’t heard anything from that area. Meantime, the state’s Living With Wildlife – Coyotes informational page includes info on what other animals coyotes eat – and important advice on what to do if you see one (in short: scare it away).
That’s Seola Beach Drive in southernmost West Seattle, a street that first leads through a ravine, and then to a small beach community. It’s where one WSB’er had an encounter last night that might portend the arrival of federal coyote hunters in West Seattle, from an agency that reportedly has killed a million coyotes, among other animals, and come under increasing scrutiny as a result. We are still investigating – but on the chance that someone else has had a similar encounter, we wanted to share his story, and the results of our first followup.
These are the first coyote photos we’ve received in a long time; we’ve been planning to relaunch our coyote-report coverage with an extra element:
The markers on that map represent every coyote sighting published on WSB in the past five years – including the ones that came up in the comment section. WSB contributor Katie Meyer went through every story in our coyote-report archive, and the comments, to make the map. We intend to keep adding to it, and this one from Kimberly will be added soon. As the coyote reports have come in over the years, someone would suggest every now and then that we make a map, so there would be more of an overview look to underscore the point that they have been seen just about everywhere in West Seattle (not just near greenbelts), and here it is. Updates to come.
Quick break for a couple more short stories before we resume weather-related coverage. From Charley:
Today (Tuesday the 17th of January) a young coyote was spotted roaming around Riverview Park neighborhood. He visited many neighbors’ backyards and seemed harmless (maybe just a little hungry). He was later spotted going into a wooded area, which later he left to roam around more.
The WSB archive of West Seattle coyote reports – including what to do if you see one (hint: make a lot of noise – they and we need to remain wary of each other) – can be found here.
The first coyote report of the New Year – at least, the first one we’ve heard about. From Cara about an hour ago:
My husband just reported that there was a coyote in our yard (40th between Hanford and Hinds) [map]. The coyote walked down the street (south on 40th) and is heading that way.
We are asked on occasion why we publish these reports, and our response is usually “until we stop hearing from people who weren’t previously aware that coyotes are IN the city.” Latest example ahead: Click to read the rest of West Seattle coyotes: 1st report of the year, and a holdover…
“Fred by the Library” sent this just before midnight:
Saw 2 healthy-sized coyotes about 30 minutes ago by Arch Ave SW and Walnut Ave SW [map] while walking the dog. They sauntered away to the NW after we saw each other (they were about 50 yards away).
Thought others in the neighborhood might like to know.
Pete says he was in his office along College Street Ravine in North Admiral this morning when “to my surprise, a visitor showed up outside my window.” He says the coyote went through the yard 4 times. Meantime, Bly reported a south Morgan Junction sighting (California/Frontenac) via Twitter.
Coyote reports we’ve received over the past three-plus years are archived here.
This is the third coyote sighting in a row reported as a pair. This one’s from Todd:
I wanted to let people in my neighborhood know about a pair of coyotes my wife and I encountered tonight while walking our dog around Riverview Playfield. They were near the tennis courts and playground when I spotted the pair and they were watching us. We stopped and then one of them started running toward us and stopped about 30 yards away. I got between our dog and them and walked toward them with arms up and yelling – trying to scare them away – but the one in front only backed off about 20 feet, then stopped to watch us again. We altered our route and I saw the aggressive one pick up a large branch in its mouth and head downhill. They both reappeared about 30 seconds later and watched us walk away. They showed very little fear and they were fairly large – maybe 50-60 lbs.
Trying to scare away is what experts recommend – it’s supposed to at least keep the coyotes guessing.
From Kathleen just a short time ago:
It’s 9:43 pm and I just saw two adult coyotes go down Kenyon off 11th S.W. and then down the alley. All small animals better be inside!!! (Highland Park)
Note that they come out in the daytime too – the proof is in our ever-longer archive of coyote sightings (many with photos), which you can scroll through here.
ADDED 12:13 AM: More coyote news – Anna e-mailed to say, “My neighbor and I heard a group of coyotes howling at 9:45 pm tonight, Friday, coming from Schmitz Park. We live on 63rd SW & Beach Drive. I’ve never heard such a loud and long commotion like that before, it was very eerie.”
Just saw 2 very healthy looking coyotes at Fauntleroy Place SW and 45th Ave SW just east of Lincoln Park [map]. Not too fearful of cars, those two. Saw them right at 950 pm.
We usually end coyote-sighting reports with this infolink that includes advice on what to do if you see one. And we point you to our coyote-sighting archive (newest-to-oldest, some with photos). Tonight, a bit of coyote trivia, too: In Louisiana, we just learned via Google, they have been designated “outlaw quadrupeds.”
From an anonymous tipster in Arbor Heights:
A friend was just (7:30 p.m. Thursday) walking her dogs between 34th SW and 35th SW where SW 108th is a narrow path, and encountered a coyote. The coyote went nose-to-nose with one of the dogs, who was in full attack mode towards the coyote. Happily, the person was able to get herself and the dogs away before the situation escalated, but the coyote only moved back into the bushes– the friend could still see the eyes, so the coyote wasn’t scared away by the commotion! Please be very careful if you are in this area.
As always – here’s the advice on what to do (including trying your best to scare a coyote away).
The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council e-mail list has been abuzz about that coyote, photographed last Tuesday afternoon “on Genesee and 20th Ave SW (map), heading toward the headwaters of Puget Creek in the greenbelt adjacent to Pathfinder K-8,” according to Joni. We requested the photo after reading her account of the coyote trying to get into the chicken enclosure at her home, which is near the school. Joni says somebody tried to shoo the coyote away but it “didn’t even blink … and stuck around long enough” to be photographed. She has since raised the fence on the chicken enclosure, and reminded neighbors on the list, “Please don’t leave food out for animals, and keep your pets safe!” She also shared the link that we include in most coyote reports – “living with coyotes” info from the state – including what to do when you see one.
Webdoxie shares this from her friend Kathryn, who wanted to get the word out ASAP but apparently can’t access WSB at work. This happened around 47th/Othello, north of Lincoln Park (map).
Scared me to death this morning, there was a pack of coyotes running down the hill on 47th. I think there were 3 or 4, they were moving fast so it was hard to tell. The only reason I heard them was their nails on the pavement and a shadow of what looked like a dog (Gulliver didn’t make a sound). Gulliver and I had just stepped out so he could go potty. By the time I realized what it was, I couldn’t even get the door open, we were setting on the porch. I thought they were running for a meal and it was my little man. Thank goodness they went past and were probably going home. … I walked with my zapper this morning just in case they were still out there.
Webdoxie explains that Gulliver is a Min-Pin “who usually tries to be as scary as he can when he sees other dogs. His stillness is another indication that they were coyotes.” Being “scary” is good advice for people, too, according to experts, when you see one or more coyotes – scroll down this state infopage to “Too Close for Comfort” for specific actions to take.
Many of the coyote reports we’ve received (all of which are archived here) describe them as being in the street – or a greenspace. Here, however, we have two who are closer to home, so to speak, or should we say homes. Read on: Click to read the rest of West Seattle wildlife: 2 more coyote sightings…
Alki’s Larry Carpenter forwarded this one:
A neighbor in the 32xx block of 64th Ave SW sent me this this morning:
“At the start of my run this morning at 5:30 am, I saw a coyote chasing a collared yellow tabby cat down 64th towards Beach Drive. I followed them and after some time, was finally able to scare away the coyote. The cat was scared and hid under the rocks at the beach – I couldn’t get it to go home. Just thought that our neighbors may want to know that there is a determined coyote around Alki trying to eat cats!”
And remember, whether you love them or hate them – or something inbetween – “scaring away” is exactly what you want to do if you see a coyote, even if it’s not chasing potential prey or threatening you. Our state’s Fish and Wildlife Department explains why, and offers other advice.
The cameraphone photo’s from Bill Reid, who says he spotted the coyote this afternoon just north of The Triangle:
I just shot a pic of this coyote on the corner of 37th SW & Genesee! It had someone’s pet chicken in its mouth but I almost hit it with my car and it dropped the bird! Needless to say, the bird ran away and the coyote just jogged off in the direction of the West Seattle golf course. Broad daylight and it wasn’t the least bit concerned about cars and people! Amazing!!!!
Remember – do your best to make sure they’ll be concerned about people, for the good of them and us (the advice is here).
Meantime, another wildlife sighting – photographed on the Harbor Avenue shoreline by Christoph Erhard:
We have expert advice on what to do when you encounter a seal pup – for one, stay WAY far back – they might get scared into the water, and their moms, who usually leave pups on the beach so they can go seek food, might not be able to find them. Plus, notify Seal Sitters; their online journal of seal-sitting is here. (Very busy time of year for them – and thanks to everyone who’s shared seal photos, including the ones we haven’t even gotten to publish yet – we’re assured they’ve been taken from a distance.)
Two more coyote reports to share – including one instance of two seen together. Read ahead for both: Click to read the rest of West Seattle coyotes: More sightings, including 2 together…
Haven’t received many sighting reports lately, but that doesn’t mean coyotes aren’t out there. It may actually mean people are doing a better job of encouraging them to keep their distance, by not leaving out food, or trying to spook them when spotted. Outdoor pets remain at risk, as evidenced by a sad (and slightly graphic) note just received from Clay, one of two reports ahead: Click to read the rest of West Seattle coyotes: A warning, a sighting, and reminders…
From AJ, who followed experts’ advice:
Coyote sighting (Tuesday) morning at 9:08 am in our backyard at 9800 block of Marine View Drive. Very close to the house. This is our third sighting of what we think is the same coyote. First time in the morning, usually we see him in the evening. Based on info we’ve read on the blog we scared him off by banging on the window. Very beautiful creature; should have taken a picture before we scared him off.
That advice, and more, is in the state Fish and Wildlife Department’s “Coexisting with Coyotes” info.
A coyote tale different from the type we usually hear, from Lizzie Jackson at Nature Consortium:
Nature Consortium staff and volunteers saw two little coyote pups today during our work party in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. They were very curious about us and after we all looked at each other for a little while we remembered that we should try to scare them off so we clapped our hands and yelled and they turned around and trotted back in the forest. Unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures but thought we would share anyway.
That’s EXACTLY what is advised in the “coexisting with coyotes” literature – to keep people, pets, and coyotes all separated, they have to maintain a wariness of humans. The advice is all here. (WSB coyote coverage, including photos now and then, is all archived here, newest to oldest.)
Jen Izutsu shared the photo of a coyote spotted near Longfellow Creek this morning – having a snake for breakfast. Snakes are part of the long list of potential food sources listed for coyotes on the state’s “Living With Wildlife: Coexisting With Coyotes” page, though we tend to hear more often about cats. And we’ll remind you that experts urge you to startle and scare coyotes when you are near them – to ensure we can keep our mutual distance, which they say is better for all concerned.
Our most recent two coyote sightings include a reminder for pet owners – it’s in a report this morning from DRS:
A rather bold coyote tried to eat my bunny (last night) at our home on 26th by Cottage Grove Park. Thanks to our awesome neighbors she’s safe and sound. Unfortunately no pic of the pesky canine but he/she was about the size of a border collie (just skinnier and more coyoteish, obviously). If you have pets that stay outside, make sure their pens are secure enough to withstand a frontal attack.
And Anya posted this one early Monday to the WSB Facebook wall:
Another coyote sighting. Between 36th/37th and Hudson. He was huge (at least 4 1/2 feet long, a good 2 feet tall and a very long bushy tail. His ears were perked straight up and he was a golden with dark brown down his spine into his tail); he looked like he was scrounging for food but he took me by surprise. I’ve lived in this house my whole life (22 years) and parents for a year before I came along and we’ve never seen a coyote around here.
Remember, while they’re apparently everywhere, the less seen, the better, because it means less entanglement between them, pets, and people – and if you do see one, do your best to scare it off, as advised in the “coexisting with coyotes” advice from wildlife authorities.
I saw a VERY big coyote outside my window at 9:20 am on the 3600 block of 47th Ave SW [map]. The animal was in stalking pose and appeared to be alone. He was heading west out of my yard. I emailed my direct neighbors to get their animals inside but wanted everyone else to be aware as well.
Coyotes may be old news to some, but not to all, and that’s why we keep publishing sighting reports when we receive them. If you’ve never seen one, scroll through our archive of reports – last one included a very clear photo.
In case you still haven’t seen a coyote, or haven’t seen one close up, this is the clearest photo we’ve received in a while – thank you to Mark for sharing it after a sighting in Fauntleroy Park, where he says you hear them howl at night and/or when a siren goes by. Also an opportunity to remind you that “coexisting with coyotes” doesn’t mean just standing around and watching them; as many have pointed out in recent discussions, it means taking steps to ensure that they remain wary of humans – because if they don’t, it’s not good for them or us. At the very basic level, that means not leaving food out for them, but it also means if you’re close to one, scare it away – throw rocks, wave your arms, etc. Read this for more advice.
Two coyote sightings have come in over the past five days – first one, the coyote Mary saw last night on Providence Mount St. Vincent property:
This isn’t a very good photo … but we spent about 20 minutes watching a coyote who was hanging around the parking lot at Providence Mt. St. V. near Hudson and 36th. S/he definitely spotted us — we were walking our two mastiffs who completely were clueless about the coyote — and s/he kept a close watch on us from a small hill as we observed from across the street. I’ve been wanting to see one since we moved over here — behind a fence and across the street suits me fine! And since our dogs are bigger than it was, we weren’t worried about that. This was about a block from where Karen Berge of the Hansen View Blockwatch reported a coyote in a staredown with a cat.
Ahead, a report earlier in the week from Linda in the Alki area, and coverage of a coyote clash in Colorado (in a link shared by a WSB’er): Click to read the rest of West Seattle coyotes: One by The Mount, one by the beach…
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