West Seattle, Washington
Here on WSB, our wildlife coverage used to include coyote reports (archived here) – not as warnings, but to raise awareness that they share the peninsula with us. Or – shared. It’s been a long time since we’ve received a coyote report, and despite living near multiple greenbelts, we haven’t heard or seen any lately either. We’ve wondered from time to time if they’ve truly dwindled here, or whether we’re just not hearing (about) them. Then we got a note from researcher Sam Kreling, a UW Ph.D. student, who is leading a study of Seattle’s coyote population. Kreling not only noticed our lack of recent coyote reports but added, “I’ve been attempting to find coyote scat in West Seattle for my research and haven’t really had any luck over the last couple of months.” The research is a collaboration between UW and the Woodland Park Zoo, “studying Seattle’s coyote population through non-invasive methods, aimed at understanding their diet, limit conflict, and their population demographics,” because “there have only been really limited insights to Seattle’s coyotes and much is still unknown about urban carnivores in general, so this study aims to help understand urban carnivores as a whole, and Seattle’s specific population of coyotes.” They’ve been working on it for almost a year, and when complete, they hppe the study will “inform Seattle management decisions on coyotes, identify regions that may be more prone to human-coyote conflict than others, and increase the general scientific knowledge surrounding urban wildlife.” So if you have any West Seattle leads for researchers, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve emailed to report, “A few coyotes near 23rd and Andover (Pigeon Point) I heard 2, maybe 3, I think. Please give a warning for people to keep their pets indoors.” (We used to get coyote reports often, but haven’t for quite some time – not sure if that means they’re more scarce, or if people are just used to them.)
Thanks to the texter who shared that photo of a Saturday morning coyote sighting in Upper Alki. After a long time without sighting reports, we’ve had an uptick lately – including one featured in our second gallery of photos taken during the recent snow. We feature them not as warnings but as FYIs, opportunities to remind people that they live among us. This infosheet from state Fish and Wildlife includes helpful info such as how to scare them away if you see one (which is considered to be the best way to react, so they maintain their wariness and keep their distance).
One more wildlife sighting before we move on to other news: David Spry shared the clip, reporting, “I managed to get some footage of a coyote this morning. It was just outside of my fence in Fauntleroy Park.” We used to get and publish relatively frequent coyote reports, but haven’t heard much about them for a while, and we get the occasional reader note saying the same thing. Nobody officially tracks them, though a new Woodland Park Zoo/Seattle University project is aiming to do so.
P.S. If you’re new – here’s info on coexisting with coyotes.
For the first time in a long time, today we received a reader report about a coyote sighting:
Last night: a pack of coyote pups heard and spotted at 46th and Edmunds in West Seattle at 1:25 am. About eight of them, running wildly around houses looking for food.
Over the years, we’ve published coyote reports when we received them, to help people remain aware that we and these wild neighbors are co-existing. If you don’t know much about coyotes, or what to do if you see one or more, this state webpage can help.
Thanks to Joan for the photo and report this afternoon:
I finally got a picture of a coyote in the Longfellow Creek Holding Basin, south side, located just east of 24th SW between Holden & Webster [map]. He saw me and jumped back so this is the best I could get.
This coyote is scrawny and thin. I saw another that looked young and healthy last week.
People are still letting their dogs run loose here so this is a heads up – go to the offleash park instead and keep your dog safe.
If you’re not sure what a coyote looks like, you can browse our archive of coyote sightings and see other, larger photos from past sightings. You’ll also want to read the state’s advice about coexisting with coyotes.
Thanks to the texter who sent word of a late-night double coyote sighting: Two in the 5600 block of 35th SW [map]. They wanted to be sure people in the area knew about it before letting their pets roam outdoors; researchers say coyotes’ diets actually includes more wild small animals – rodents, in particular – than domesticated ones. The sightings reports we’ve received over the years are archived here; state experts’ advice on coexisting with coyotes is here.
Just wanted to alert people that we just saw a coyote walking down our street on 37th between Willow and Myrtle. [map] It’s a busy walking area but fortunately no one was out at that specific moment. It was walking southward and into someone’s driveway towards the greenbelt area.
If you see a coyote, best thing to do, for your sake and the animal’s sake, is to do your best to frighten it away. Authorities advise yelling, waving your arms, even throwing rocks. They live among us (and vice versa); you can read the state Department of Fish and Wildlife‘s “Living with Coyotes” advice here.
Thanks to Jake for the report: “I spotted a coyote this morning at 35th and Hinds [map] around 7:30 am. It jumped into a bush before I could get a pic. It appeared to be in good health and didn’t seem to be in a big hurry or especially skittish. It looked to weigh about 45 lbs.”
For more than eight years now, we’ve published coyote-sighting reports when we get them as a reminder that they live among us – (especially with new people arriving, not everyone knows that!). This one-sheet from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has info on what to do if you see one (in short: scare it away) and how else to foster coexistence.
Second coyote photo of the week – thanks again! Just keeping track of our urban wildlife. This photo was texted this morning from the Fairmount Park/Playfield area, Fauntleroy Way and SW Dawson [map]. As always, heres the gold-standard advice from the state Fish and Wildlife Department – including what to do if you see one nearby – do your best to scare it away – coexistence for us, them, and the rest of the urban ecosystem depends on them wanting to keep their distance.
Thanks to Kevin for e-mailing (email@example.com) that photo of a coyote spotted near 50th SW and SW Walker [map], around 10 am today. Not far from greenbelts, but over the nine years we’ve been publishing sighting reports (all from WSB readers except this one), we’ve had many relatively far from greenbelts, too. We publish them as an informational reminder that they’re out there, and you should read up on experts’ advice for coexistence – making sure they have no reason to hang around too close or for too long. The best advice is here.
Change of seasons tends to bring out the coyote sightings. We have two to share:
NEAR LUNA PARK: Jason sent the photo and report:”I was walking up Andover from Avalon toward the Fauntleroy pedestrian bridge [map], and I spotted what looked like a good-sized coyote across the street from the east entrance to the bridge. It saw me and froze, sat on its haunches, and watched me for 3-4 minutes. I took this photo (blurry since it was zoomed in on my phone), and shortly after that it disappeared when I looked away. It did not seem very afraid of me.”
IN SEAVIEW: Deb saw one early Friday along 47th SW between Findlay and Erskine [map]: “I was out around 1:30 in the morning when a lanky coyote with a thin tail came trotting down 47th. When the animal spotted me he wheeled and ran down the alley. I promptly went back in the house.”
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE ONE: Best thing to do is to scare it away, experts say. Other tips on coexisting with coyotes are in this fact sheet from the state Fish and Wildlife Department. Our off-and-on archive of West Seattle coyote sightings, meantime, is here.
On a quiet (so far) Friday night, a few notes about West Seattle coyotes, starting with a question:
SCHMITZ PARK COYOTES STILL THERE? Nita wonders:
I’ve lived on Manning Street by Schmitz Park for about 13 years. There has been a pack of coyotes in the park for about 10 years. We usually hear them howl at night, especially if a siren goes down Admiral. It sounded like 6 or 8 individuals, probably a family group. We would see one trotting down the street near dusk or dawn maybe once every other month.
I haven’t heard or seen a coyote in the park in at least 6 weeks. I was wondering if anyone had any information about this.
Prior to the coyotes moving in about 10 years ago, there was a breeding pair of red foxes who lived in the park. They could often be seen in the neighborhood and I have photos of them on my front lawn. Then the coyotes moved in and either killed them or chased them out.
The coyotes also greatly reduced the number of raccoons in the neighborhood. And greatly increased the number of raccoons sighted with most of their tails lopped off – “the ones that got away,” no doubt.
Anyway, just a local amateur naturalist here, wondering what’s become of the pack that’s lived in Schmitz Park for so long. My theory is that they’ve hunted out the mice and rats and moles that they depend on for survival, and have had to move on. I’d be interested to hear from someone more knowledgeable than myself.
This also came up recently in the WSB Forums. We don’t have any recent Schmitz Park reports, but we do have these three:
EARLY-MORNING SIGHTING: Dave e-mailed to report a coyote seen early Thursday, “Avalon and 32nd at 7:00 am.”
MID-AFTERNOON SIGHTING: Trileigh Tucker photographed this coyote in her yard:
Trileigh lives near Lincoln Park.
EAST ADMIRAL SIGHTING: And via Twitter: “Spotted a young adult coyote eating apples that fell from a tree in the alley at Andover between 35th & 34th Ave SW.”
(photo added) Thanks to Karin for this photo of a coyote she says is the 32nd/Avalon visitor mentioned above:
We just happened to be at the West Seattle Farmers Market an hour or so ago when a text came in (206-293-6302, any time) with that photo of a coyote spotted nearby, by Hope Lutheran (42nd/41st/Oregon). No telling whether the coyote was trying to find its way to the market, church, or somewhere else, but yet another reminder that they live among us and they’re out in the daytime too. The best advice from the state’s excellent infoguide is to scare them away if you see them; our texter said a passing car had already done that.
Our two most recent reader reports about West Seattle coyote sightings both included photos:
First, Aimee sent that photo tonight, saying:
Just wanted to give North Admiral neighbors a heads up of a coyote I saw this afternoon. The coyote crossed California heading east on Hill Street. Sorry the picture is not the best, he was fast.
We also had this in queue from Lori‘s Fauntlee Hills sighting last week:
She saw the coyote running through her backyard at 9:15 in the morning and thought it had been hanging around that area for some days.
Wondering what to do if you see one? Best thing to do is to scare it away – coexistence depends on us and them keeping apart – as explained on this state Department of Fish and Wildlife infopage.
Thanks to Krista Livingston for the photo and report:
This coyote was jumping around, playing in our yard (edge of Schmitz Park) at Charlestown and 52nd Ave SW. I know you get lots of sightings. Thought the neighbors would like to know the coyotes are out day and night.
If you scroll through our archive of coyote sightings, you will definitely be able to verify that. And if you do see one, please remember that the best thing to do for your sake and theirs is to scare it away – as explained in the state’s one-sheet about coexisting with coyotes.
Last night when I got home there was a coyote eating something in my backyard. I beat on the windows and scared it away (for a minute) before it returned to get the meal it had left behind. Unfortunately, it looks like he may have gotten a neighborhood pet, like a tortoiseshell-color cat. Since it was getting dark then, I will check the yard today for any collars or identifying information. Please encourage your readers to keep their pets inside. This coyote is much bigger than the others that seem to visit my back yard on a weekly basis. If anyone has ideas on what can be put down to keep them away, I’d love to know what would do it. I live on the Alki hillside on Lander.
The state’s main advice in the coyote chapter of its “Living With Wildlife” series is to reduce food sources – don’t leave pet food out, let alone pets – as well as scaring them away if you see them, not just with noise, but even with throwing rocks or sticks if within range.
Two sightings your West Seattle neighbors wanted to share:
NEAR MORGAN JUNCTION: Brandon just e-mailed this:
Just wanted to report that I ran into a coyote this morning while walking the dogs, in case it is news. It came out of the alley between Mills and Willow, headed across Fauntleroy and headed down Willow [map] toward Pelly Place. It was around 7:30 this morning. My wife thought that cat owners would like to know.
MID-DELRIDGE: Sunday night, a texter reported a “coyote sighting at 24th and Myrtle [map] – our first sighting in 2 years living here.”
Just because you haven’t seen one doesn’t mean they’re not around – scroll through our archives for years of sightings (many with photos). We share them to be sure everyone’s aware they share our city (among others). Most important thing you can do if you see one is to scare it away – coexistence requires a healthy distance – lots more info on that can be found in this state-produced one-sheet.
Thanks to Steven for sharing that photo, taken around 2:30 pm from a condo window in the 1200 block of Alki Avenue SW, looking at the hillside behind the building.
Not necessarily applicable when you’re viewing from inside your home, but remember that the best thing to do if and when you see one is to try to scare it away, for its sake as well as yours. Read more in the State Fish and Wildlife Department’s “Living with Coyotes” guide.
Where else have West Seattleites seen coyotes? Almost everywhere. Check our archive here.
(Added: Coyote photographed by Heidi near 37th/Hinds on Saturday)
4:25 PM: In recent days, we’ve published reports of coyote sightings in the greater Admiral area. Two more today, and they mention a coyote attacking a cat and possibly a chicken. One report is from 42nd/Bradford/Charlestown area, another from 44th and Spokane, no pictures with either so we don’t know if it’s the same one. One chicken is missing, possibly fleeing from the coyote – we’ll add the chicken’s photo shortly, as well as a photo of a coyote seen in the 37th/Hinds area on Saturday.
4:39 PM: Before we could even add the photo of “Big Mama” the chicken, we got another text saying she’s back and all the chickens are OK after all. Our coyote-sighting reports are archived here, newest-to-oldest.)
6:36 PM: A neighbor texted to say the coyote’s still in the area and headed toward California SW on Spokane at last report. If you still haven’t read this despite all the times we’ve linked it – scroll to the “Coyotes Too Close For Comfort?” advice. Trying to scare it away remains the best thing you can do for it as well as for potential prey in the area.
— Dave Stockman (@dbstock) December 31, 2015
ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:07 PM: That’s video just tweeted by Dave from SW Spokane Street, another midday sighting. We’ve published several reports recently (archived with seven-plus years of coyote news on WSB), but video is relatively rare, even in this time of ubiquitous video capability. Our customary link: What you should know about coyotes, including how to increase the chances we and they can keep a healthy distance from each other. And if you want it a bit more bluntly – here’s our 2013 story on what a federal wildlife agent wants you to know.
P.S. Coyote reports often inspire us to check around online to see what’s happening in other cities. We just found this notable report from Los Angeles, where a federal researcher – described, however, as “unfunded” – has been using GPS collars to track urban coyotes.
ADDED 9:45 PM: Another clip – this time from Ted Johnson, recorded at a bluffside home in west Admiral at sunset:
Yes, coyotes do emerge in the daytime. The photo is courtesy of Michael, who says, “Just saw this guy at 12:30 at 35th and Hinds!! End of 35th arterial.” [map] We also had a text about this time Saturday, mentioning one seen “running down at Admiral at 53rd.” Though they’re believed to do most hunting at night, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s “Living With Coyotes” one-sheet advises they do go out in daylight if they’re hungry. Remember, authorities advise that the best way to encourage them to keep their distance is to do your best to “haze” them if you see them – yell, wave your arms, throw rocks.
Archived WSB coyote reports are here, newest to oldest.
We publish reader reports about coyote sightings periodically, with educational intent as much as anything. Within the past half-hour, we received a text (on our 24/7 hotline, 206-293-6302) from someone saying there are “coyotes in the yards at 52nd/Charlestown.” Too dark for a photo, the texter says. Meantime, back on Monday, here’s what Rose saw:
First time I have seen a coyote traveling the open streets and sidewalks in broad daylight. This one looks like it has either completely shed all its fur or it has mange. Came up 39th and turned onto Lander Street cruising the neighborhood. I know for sure it was a coyote because my cat Manitou, who happened to be outside at the time, froze until he went by across the street, then ran like greased lightning for the back door and wanted IN with a very bushed tail. Wise cat, and something he never does about dog.
If you haven’t read this information about coexisting with coyotes before – it’s worth a look. Most important advice: If you see one, do what you can to scare it away, for its sake and yours – yell, wave your arms to look “big,” even throw rocks.