West Seattle coyotes: 2 morning sightings

We received two reports of coyote sightings about one hour and three blocks apart on Saturday morning. Karen in Hansen View reports her neighbor saw a “cat and coyote in a staredown” around 8 am at 36th/Dawson; a resident tried to scare the coyote away “but he didn’t seem to be afraid,” so the resident went on to “follow the cat down the street,” and its owners came out to get it. Then around 9 am, about three blocks north of there, Chris in the 4700 block of 37th SW saw a coyote in his backyard. Time to haul out the “coexisting with coyotes” advice from the state – which also reminds us, this is birth season.

17 Replies to "West Seattle coyotes: 2 morning sightings"

  • Walt May 15, 2011 (5:24 am)

    We lost our beloved “Grey Boy” to a Coyote
    approximately 5-18-11. We live on 39th and Bradford. We were unable to get him in that night.
    He was sleeping on the front porch in a carrier.
    The neighbors found him, our cat was not just killed but 1/2 eaten. We are filled with grief
    that is unimaginable.

  • Gary May 15, 2011 (9:04 am)

    Coyotes have to eat to survive like humans. Ever been hungry w/ no food to eat?
    Consider buying cheap dog food for the wild dogs. They WILL NOT bother your pets if they are not hungry. Killing is not a sport w/them it is survival.
    Climate extremes have a bearing on what the wild dogs will take. Ie: cold/hot weather, snow etc. So be more careful during these times.
    I’ve never known a coyote to not consume the entire animal. I’ve known domestic animals to do that though.

    • WSB May 15, 2011 (9:17 am)

      Dangerous myth per the experts. We have been reading the “coexisting with coyotes” advice, from multiple sources – Dept. of Fish and Wildlife to Humane Society of the US – for more than three years now. Food left out by homes, whether it’s for the “wild dogs” OR for the domestic pets you keep, brings them in and keeps them close. The whole point of coexisting is to make it as unattractive as possible for them to be anywhere nearby, and that includes – as difficult as it sounds – totally being “mean” if you see one. Yell, throw rocks, wave your arms and look big. Don’t even leave bird feeders out this time of year (the birds don’t need them any longer and apparently they are sources of coyote chow too) – TR

  • seewhatsealionsstart May 15, 2011 (9:41 am)

    Feeding wildlife is dangerous and unfair in many ways. Like WSB stated it encourages wildlife to hang around, leading to more wild and domestic animal interactions with harsh consequences for domestics. Feeding or leaving food out also domesticates wildlife in the sense that they then become more dependent on human resources and learn foraging behaviors that set them up for illness, injury or death. We interfere enough encroaching on their habitat. We do best by them to improve and protect their habitats in a natural state.

    Walt-I am so sorry about the loss of your beloved cat, very sad.

  • Vanessa May 15, 2011 (11:01 am)

    If I let my bird feeders go empty for awhile, are you sure there is enough food for them in nature? And then, start feeding them again, when? In the late fall? I know I could look all of this up on line somewhere, but for those who know, what say you?

  • wingme May 15, 2011 (1:05 pm)

    I’m fairly certain a bald eagle was stalking my little dachshund the other day while he was romping in the back yard. The eagle kept circling over, very low, so I took my dog inside. It was alarming to say the least. Anybody ever hear of eagles snatching up little pets?

  • coyotewrites May 15, 2011 (2:21 pm)

    My sympathy to anyone who has lost a beloved pet to a coyote. Great suggestions by WSB & others – definitely lots of excellent info on co-existing with coyotes on web.
    Here’s the link to @WDFW
    Also, check out http://www.projectcoyote.org
    I post links to info on my twitter @coyotewrites as well.
    NEVER FEED COYOTES! Don’t leave out pet food, take down bird feeders, clean barbeque grills to eliminate food odors, secure garbage
    Keep pets indoors (I have 3 happy, active indoor cats). Dogs on leash> ck out tips on dog safety: http://www.pacificariptide.com/pacifica_riptide/2010/11/coyote-behavior-and-peaceful-coexistence.html
    Watch kids outdoors! Never leave a small child or toddler unattended! It’s just a lot of common sense pratices. Dawn and dusk are when you are most likely to see/encounter coyotes.
    Coyotes are beneficial as they help rid us of rats & other rodents, keep rabbit populations down that eat gardens.
    A study of radio collared coyotes showed that humans were leaving out food (pet food, livestock carcasses improperly buried on hobby suburban farms, etc.) that brought more coyotes into an area. We must educate ourselves in order to peacefully coexist with these smart, amazing animals.

  • Pzz May 15, 2011 (2:24 pm)

    I think that really, bird feeders are for human enjoyment and bird watching. The truth is we don’t NEED to feed birds ever. They have survived thousands of years without bird feeders. But summer offers the highest variety of birds for viewing, and also offers the opportunity to see fledglings and young birds.

    And don’t worry — if they are meant to migrate they will, regardless of whether there is food in the feeders come fall.

  • seewhatsealionsstart May 15, 2011 (2:43 pm)

    Vanessa-you will hear/read many different opinions based on peoples beliefs. Definitely if you use feeders the time to stop is not winter when food sources are less abubdant. When I volunteered at PAWS wildlife center I learned that feeders were not healthy for birds in general. It creates a concentrated feeding station that doesn’t exist quite that way in nature. That scenerio sets them up for spread of diseases that they pass along more easily. The birds are also concentrated in an way that makes them much easier prey for hawks & eagles than is natural and also sets them up for cat strikes. I stopped using mine all together many years ago. Every place I have lived i plant natives, let things go to seed and leave them thru fall/winter and put out many watering sources of water. I have always been rewarded with an abundance of birds and wildlife in my city and suburban yards. It’s thoughtful you would consider putting them away if even for spring and summer. So after my long winded response the answer is yes. If you have trees and other plant life, they will find insects, seeds and other nutrients.

  • Vanessa May 15, 2011 (3:32 pm)

    Sealion, THANK YOU so much for your great information. Preshe8 it.

  • Mary T May 15, 2011 (4:49 pm)

    And might I add: leaving food outside attracts RATS. That is not pretty!

  • Gary May 15, 2011 (5:13 pm)

    WSB-Feeding coyotes does not have to necessarily “bring them in and keep them closer”
    I feed coyotes Wal Mart dog food and other wildlife (birds mostly) on a daily basis at a cost of approx. $12-1400 per yr. and have done so for 7-8 yrs.
    The coyote population has not bothered me or my neighbors. Has not grown out of proportion or become a problem.

    If domestic animals are targeted by the coyotes its from hunger/staying alive and a last resort for them.
    If area residents are afraid of coyotes, local residents/neighbors might consider getting together and humanly trapping the coyotes/releasing them somewhere in a lesser populated area. Starving them to death, forcing domestic pets to live their lives inside behind closed doors is probably not the most humane form of solving the problem.

  • Idahome May 15, 2011 (6:00 pm)

    Hmmm… My father has his PhD in Ornithology (Study of Birds) and he has bird feeders out all year around.

  • Paul May 16, 2011 (1:51 pm)

    Beep…Beep !

  • coyotewrites May 16, 2011 (4:52 pm)

    I am sorry to see someone is intentionally feeding Coyotes! Coyotes are omnivores, they will eat berries and seed pods and are opportunistic. Coyotes will go where the food is and take care of themselves. They don’t need humans to survive, but human food will attract them. Trapping is definitely not humane: I wouldn’t want to get my arm stuck in a trap and wait 24 hours with no food or water, most likely in pain for the trapper to check it. Several studies show trapping/moving coyotes doesn’t solve the problem of having coyotes in the neighborhood. Humans need to modify their behavior some to insure the coyotes do not become human habituated. Once the coyotes are no longer afraid of humans and start relying on food left out for them they have been shown to be at greater risk of harm. Also, keeping pets indoors is not inhumane, they are domesticated not wild. Dogs can get out on a leash for exercise. That’s good for the owner and the dog. U.S. domestic cats dispatch a billion + mice/voles/baby rabbits & 100’s of millions of birds per year. Cats can live happily indoors and most vets are now recommending indoor living. Anyone feeding coyotes is not doing the coyotes or their neighbors any favors by feeding them.

  • dancingcat May 16, 2011 (8:53 pm)

    My cousin had a very large tree fall in a wind storm several years back. This tree had an eagles nest in it. Inside this nest they found around a dozen or so pet collars. Keep a watch on your little friend when he’s outside.

  • gish May 24, 2011 (12:10 am)

    We had one chasing our cat around 530a on the 21st in the high point neighbor hood, and he was very determined to have our cat….

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