West Seattle wildlife: Whale sighting; coyote report; raccoons…

It’s a wild place we live in … three reader reports to share:

WHALE WATCHING: Heard about the humpbacks in the area this past week or so? Colleen saw one and shared the photo:

A little late since this was Saturday night…..While boating with friends from West Seattle to Bainbridge Saturday evening around 5:15, we spotted a whale … We were so excited, our pictures are not that good. … It was awesome and unbelievable to be so close (our friends turned off their Bayliner’s engine as we watched the whale).

COYOTE REPORT: From Paul in North Admiral:

Just thought I’d pass on news of a coyote sighting in front of my house (Monday) morning on 42nd Ave between Seattle and Atlantic Streets in North Admiral. 4:30 am, I was leaving to go fishing, and a neighbor was walking his dog. We all must have come upon the coyote at the same time, and it took off running. Healthy looking adult. I’ve seen one here before, but it’s been several years.

RACCOONS: From Sean in Gatewood:

Spotted this mom and four youngsters at 8:30 (Monday) morning in my backyard. Very cute, but I’d prefer they dig holes elsewhere.

The state has advice on dealing with raccoons and coyotes – the former, here; the latter, here. (And lots of other species too – see the sidebar on either of those pages for the links.)

30 Replies to "West Seattle wildlife: Whale sighting; coyote report; raccoons..."

  • Charly August 7, 2014 (7:17 am)

    Ever watch the movie PomPoko? Well, the raccoons look like they are trying to say something! Love this picture.

  • John August 7, 2014 (7:20 am)

    I love the graininess of the whale photo. Makes it look mysterious, like some shot of the Loch Ness Monster!

  • alki Resident August 7, 2014 (7:40 am)

    Raccoon to photographer: “Look, can we talk about this?”

  • AG August 7, 2014 (7:54 am)

    We had a female raccoon have a litter under our deck last year. She was so aggressive that she attacked the under-side of the deck every time we walked outside. It was a bit scary, to be honest.
    Animal Control came out to take a look and see whether she was injured, and determined she had kits under there, and advised us to just leave them alone for 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately, that would have meant leaving our little urban farm with no care at all for 3-4 weeks in the middle of harvest. Not happening. So, we ordered male raccoon urine from the internet. It stank so badly even through the packaging that I suspect the poor UPS man hated us, but sprinkling it around the perimeter of the yard worked for a year. It’s now time for another application as we found raccoon feces under a tree yesterday.
    They may be cute, but they are aggressive little monkeys and I’m not interested in being their home or latrine.

  • ca August 7, 2014 (7:59 am)

    this looks like the family i saw on 35th..mom was much bigger…but she didnt make it….babies and dad were in road trying to tend to her. very sad. i hope the others are okay :( cute picture though…our raccoons get into our pond…they think its a day spa. ;)

  • Buddy the Elf August 7, 2014 (8:48 am)

    Does someone need a hug?

  • heather August 7, 2014 (9:20 am)

    “Wha? Neighbors night out was LAST night!”

  • Norma August 7, 2014 (9:22 am)

    A hot wire fence works to keep raccoons out. It won’t kill them but they don’t like it. We had to do this a couple of years ago when we were trying to put in a new garden and the raccoons kept digging up the plants looking for grubs to eat. Now I’m battling moles. It seems that if you provide good growing conditions for a garden it attracts all kinds of wildlife.

  • AG August 7, 2014 (10:01 am)

    Norma, wouldn’t the hot wire fence potentially harm/shock other critters? What if it malfunctioned? Could it electrocute an animal? We share a fence with the neighbors on each side, and they both have dogs, and neighborhood cats occasionally come visit our cats through the window (ours are indoor-only but enjoy an occasional nose-to-nose hello and exchange of “prrt” greetings with the visitors)
    I wouldn’t mind keeping the punk squirrels out, as they like to take a single bite of a piece of fruit, throw the remainder on the ground and pick a new one. I don’t mind sharing SOME, but not all. However, I suspect squirrels would just find a tree and jump a hot wire fence or run along the electrical lines to the roof anyway.
    Am I making incorrect assumptions about the fence?

  • Jennifer August 7, 2014 (10:20 am)

    I have had 3 different mom & babies this year. Love my babies.

  • R. Kaufman August 7, 2014 (10:29 am)

    Two coyotes killed a cat in our yard a few nights ago. Keep safe!

  • John August 7, 2014 (10:30 am)

    I’ve had a mom and three kids coming around my place for the past week. They all look healthy and are as friendly as those in the picture. I’m near 41st and Brandon.

  • Jeff August 7, 2014 (10:37 am)

    I bet those are the jerks stealing my peaches.

  • wakeflood August 7, 2014 (12:20 pm)

    R. Kaufman, what area do you live in?

  • gia August 7, 2014 (12:50 pm)

    hate to say it…raccoons are cute and that picture is worth a 1000 words. :) however, i am glad that its not my house. :(

  • Jason August 7, 2014 (2:32 pm)

    That lead raccoon is definitely trying to reason with the homeowner in this pic. They’ve been digging up my yard recently too by the way, not cool guys!

  • WestSea August 7, 2014 (3:03 pm)

    My wife and I just rented a house on 35th Ave. SW. We moved in and started noticing a smell of urine and feces throughout our new home. Had an animal removal service come by and we basically found out that on top of the pile of feces under our kitchen stairs outside and a raccoon living in our Ivy in our front yard, we had a family living in our chimney but they have moved on just before we moved in. Our fireplaces now reek of the most foulest stench of them using our two fireplaces as a bathroom. First fire we lit in the basement drove us out of the basement for a week. We’re still smelling a slight odor every now and then. Cute as they are, they are vermin and a nuisance.
    The horrid smells and damage they leave behind are not as cute as they look I assure you.

  • I. Ponder August 7, 2014 (5:06 pm)

    “Cute as they are, they are vermin…”

    Seriously, what qualifies them as ‘vermin’? I read the newspaper and humans are no less worthy of that moniker IMO.

    I have raccoon vermin and their vermin babies here and I don’t mess with them. I also have a Robin vermin sitting on a nest with some baby vermin.

    I’ve got a big yard. So much vermin!

    It bothers me that someone could look at the above photo and see vermin.

  • payrollgirl August 7, 2014 (5:42 pm)

    Yes those raccoons are “rascals” not vermin’s but how can you not love that picture!
    And WestSea I sure hope your landlord paid for all the work and clean up you had to have a specialist come in and do!

  • Mike August 7, 2014 (8:25 pm)

    Awww, so cute, until they tear your eyes out. Still cute when you have eyes to look at them with.

  • WestSea August 7, 2014 (8:31 pm)

    I. Ponder

    By the definition of Vermin:

    Vermin -wild mammals and birds that are believed to be harmful to crops, farm animals, or game, or that carry disease.

    Payrollgirl – see above and yes, landlord was very accomodating and payed for it. :D

  • Elle Nell August 7, 2014 (9:07 pm)

    Love mama coon… Standing guard for her babes. We watched a documentary on raccoons, on NF I believe. It was super informative and one thing we learned was that they really only travel between a few blocks period. Kind if home bodies… Great shot!

  • I. Ponder August 7, 2014 (10:51 pm)

    IMO we live in the city and are lucky to see any wild animals at all.

  • 935 August 7, 2014 (11:32 pm)

    i don’t think i would qualify scavengers of human leavings in city limits (or elsewhere) “wildlife”.
    i would call them nuisance, dangerous, likely rabid and as an earlier poster said apt to rip your eyes out. Remember the east coast chimp anyone? supposedly “domesticated” chimp tore off a lady’s face??
    These animals may seem cute and friendly…they are anything but. Interactions with humans and our leavings blur the lines. Do NOT make the error of humanizing these creatures. you will be sorry.

  • Cynthia Fields August 8, 2014 (12:00 am)

    Oops, maybe these animals didn’t get the memo that they are no longer welcome in the habitat they were born into. How thoughtless and selfish of them to infringe on your private property!

  • Sean August 8, 2014 (2:39 am)

    They show up nightly because our neighbor feeds cats outside (free supper). They are no doubt waiting for their chance to claw my eyes out, steal my car and max out my credit cards… But they’re so dang cute. I’d be less patient if they used my yard as a latrine or lived in my chimney, but for the most part they’re harmless (I keep my distance… except to get this pic).

    I’m with some others – think it’s very cool to see wildlife at all living in the city.

  • I. Ponder August 8, 2014 (9:48 am)

    I love the analogy between chimps and raccoons, because chimps are our closest relatives and those are also human characteristics. There was a time when orcas were considered vermin and were used for naval target practice. They were eating the fish that were intended for us humans.

  • enviromaven August 8, 2014 (11:22 am)

    Awesome whale tail fluke photo!

  • datamuse August 8, 2014 (2:07 pm)

    It’s true, a friend of mine was feeding the raccoons on his back porch and one of them stole his wallet, bought a spaceship and a rocket launcher, and went on an interstellar rampage.
    …what? I saw Guardians of the Galaxy this week, what do you want?
    (Btw, while raccoons are a reservoir for rabies, there is only one documented case of a person dying from an infected raccoon’s bite in the U.S. Most human rabies infections come from bats. Rabies in raccoons have never been found in Washington State. I’m not recommending feeding the little buggers, but 935’s comment was awfully hyperbolic. If you want to panic about something there are more panic-worthy things.)

    • WSB August 8, 2014 (2:52 pm)

      DM, just had to say, I saw the movie last night – August is “almost no one has an evening meeting” month, so we get to sneak away on occasion. Raccoon is certainly one of the most memorable characters!

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