West Seattle wildlife: Coyote in Fauntleroy Park

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.

29 Replies to "West Seattle wildlife: Coyote in Fauntleroy Park"

  • WSSpartan July 7, 2011 (4:53 pm)

    My wife and I run through that park every once and a while. Anyone know if coyotes get aggressive when they get spooked? I’d hate to run around a corner and meet a surprised coyote.

  • Vali Mitchell July 7, 2011 (5:28 pm)

    Is there a group that works for protection of coyotes in the West Seattle area that I could connect with?

  • Paul July 7, 2011 (5:39 pm)

    Don’t worry he won’t bite,, That’s what most dog owners tell me when there dog gets close to me

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man July 7, 2011 (5:49 pm)

    As long you can run faster than your wife, what’s the problem? Sorry, couldn’t resist. But unless you are Ninja joggers I doubt you’d surprise them, and unlike a bear protecting its cubs it’s sure to turn and run even if you did manage to sneak up on it. Even urban yotes are big chickens at heart, though they tend not to get shot at like their country cousins.

  • j July 7, 2011 (6:05 pm)

    Coyote attacks are extremely rare. I don’t think you will get attacked by running in the woods. My brother and I would romp around in the woods behind our house in rural Vancouver, WA growing up and spooked quite a few. Never once did we feel threated by them.

    Beautiful picture!

  • sue July 7, 2011 (7:03 pm)

    Beautiful photo! Problem is that the coyotes are getting bolder and more numerous. Witness the many “missing cat” posters around the Fauntleroy area. We have a managed (spayed and altered) feral cat group behind our house, a few blocks from Fauntleroy Park. I have seen coyotes slip into this area. No coincidence that there are many fewer cats here as well. Wish we had a coyote relocation program!

  • Andrea Johnson July 7, 2011 (7:12 pm)

    I saw one this morning on my way to work near Longfellow Creek. Best part of my day :) I used to live near hundreds of them in rural Okanogan Cty…love coyotes. Hope they continue to co-exist with us in Seattle–very special indeed.

  • marty July 7, 2011 (7:13 pm)

    They are beautiful.. unless you happen to be a cat or small dog that doesn’t stay in the house. I wonder why I am seeing so many “missing pet” notices on telephone poles around West Seattle?

  • datamuse July 7, 2011 (7:21 pm)

    I dunno Marty, but considering how many cats and dogs I see just wandering around loose in my own neighborhood, their people might want to do something about that.

    I’ve startled a coyote a couple of times. They ran away every time.

  • shed22 July 7, 2011 (8:04 pm)

    Focused and determined. Great photo! IF there are no cats or garbage for the coyotes, what do they eat? Squirrels and song birds?

    • WSB July 7, 2011 (8:07 pm)

      Rats. Little-discussed, but coyotes help keep the rat population down. – TR

  • thistle stair July 7, 2011 (8:23 pm)

    It isn’t the coyote in the woods, it’s the coyote in your head, full of fear and attachment, you should concern yourself with.

  • seewhatsealionsstart July 7, 2011 (9:21 pm)

    beautiful photo Mark, thanks for sharing.
    I hope people don’t throw rocks/stones to actually hit the coyotes unless they are in imminent danger of attack. Hard to interpret the advice but would hate for them to become an even bigger target of human fears and confusions.

    thistle stair-excellent sentiment, thanks for the laugh.

  • Kelly July 7, 2011 (9:33 pm)

    True–they are excellent rodent eaters!

    We can fully appreciate having them in our neighborhood because our cats are indoor-only.

  • Tom July 7, 2011 (9:59 pm)

    I love it that we have coyotes here. I’ve seen them on the golf course but never in Lincoln Park.

  • foy boy July 7, 2011 (10:01 pm)

    A couple of years ago I saw a red fox in arbor hieghts ares around sw 100 and marine veiw dr. What ever happened to the foxes? Someone told me that there are some that live a the golf course. As far as the cyotes are cocerned they are now treading into mans habitat enter at your own risk. Man is also a peraditor and a little higher up on the food chain.

  • kate July 7, 2011 (10:36 pm)

    If you leave your dogs or cats outside consider them fair prey. I adore both cats and dogs but I REALLY love living in an urban neighborhood that is home to eagles and coyotes. Wildlife management is an oxymoron.

  • nighthawk July 8, 2011 (1:28 am)

    Coyotes can get aggressive if you have a small pet with you. This happened to someone while I was at Yellowstone last fall. We had just gotten back to the parking lot from a trail. there was someone who had two small dogs. The owner had taken them out of the RV to walk them around the parking lot and there was a coyote that decided it wanted to make a meal of the dogs. From what I understand is that it almost got one of the dogs and would have had some other intervened and helped chase off the coyote.

  • phil dirt July 8, 2011 (7:22 am)

    Coyotes help keep the rattlesnake population under control in Lincoln Park.

  • Jenny DB July 8, 2011 (10:19 am)

    Beautiful photo! I love all the wildlife features on WSB. Someday when I don’t have to commute to the eastside I would love to live over there. You West Seattlites get all the good ones… eagles, coyotes, seals, even whales! Although I must say, I very much enjoy the bald eagle that hunts from a lamp post on the 520 bridge :-)

  • jw July 8, 2011 (10:46 am)

    as for the “why don’t we see foxes anymore?” – easy answer – people not leashing their dogs in our parks!!! When your dogs are leashed, wildlife can hide while you pass and continue to feel safe in their natural habitat (which WE invade). When your dogs are out “hunting” (don’t kid yourselves that they’re just chassing SQUIRRELS, which is just as cruel), they fracture the sense of safety and our wildlife will either move on or be killed by traffic or other predators while trying to find someplace safe. leash laws are there for a reason. dog parks are there for a reason.

  • Noelle July 8, 2011 (11:12 am)

    They really are pretty . . . Great photo of our local woodland creature!

  • Patricia Christiansen July 8, 2011 (6:32 pm)

    Coyotes are beautiful, very skittish usually, and typically will hide or retreat. Females will be more assertive if protecting their young.
    Question: When will any animal bite you?
    Answer: When it has teeth.
    If its in the wild leave it alone.
    I live at the base of a National Wildlife preservation and have coyote basically in my back yard with no problems.

  • Mark July 8, 2011 (7:59 pm)

    I (the recent photo entry) have noted the red fox/coyote incidences in Fauntleroy Park and at the West Seattle Golf Course (the logo of the golf course is a fox and I have pictures of many litters there). In both places coyotes have replaced the red fox-they out-compete them. Coyotes have been increasing their range for many years now. – Mark

  • WS Suzanne July 9, 2011 (12:28 am)

    Mark — Coyotes are natives here and have been for thousands of years. Their range is fairly constant but is strongly affected by human encroachment (housing and commercial developments, etc.) Contrary to what you say, their range is diminishing, not expanding.

    Thanks for the great photo. It really captures the wildness of these beautiful creatures.

  • mike flynn July 9, 2011 (12:47 am)

    Apparently, one of the local lunch counters may be next: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17950832/ns/us_news-weird_news/t/coyote-shall-lie-down-sobes/

  • ltfd July 9, 2011 (7:55 am)


    Coyote Geography – Range

    “The ubiquitous coyote is found throughout North America from eastern Alaska to New England and south through Mexico to Panama. It originally ranged primarily in the northwest corner of the US, but it has adapted readily to the changes caused by human occupation and, in the past 200 years, has been steadily extending its range. Sightings now commonly occur in Florida, New England and eastern Canada”.

    • WSB July 9, 2011 (8:09 am)

      And if you go to http://news.google.com and just put in coyote, results will include the latest from some communities around the country that are completely freaked out, like New Orleans, where SWAT team sharpshooters were recently deployed (and may still be, I haven’t checked) to try to track down coyotes and kill them. PS to Ltfd’s link – northwest, huh? The cliché always seemed to be that they were a SOUTHwestern animal – you know, Wile E. Coyote running around in the desert after the roadrunner, etc.

  • Henrietta Tidlbury July 12, 2011 (3:47 pm)

    I saw one the end of June on Cambridge SW crossing Olson Place SW running east. It was about 3pm and I knew it wasn’t a fox or wolf.

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