West Seattle, Washington
(October 2012 reader photo, by Katina, taken in an Admiral neighborhood)
An unexpected phone call this New Year’s Eve: Aaron the federal wildlife agent called to ask us to share another reminder about keeping your dog(s) safe from coyotes. “We are seeing an increase in coyote calls concerning predation on small dogs at night in West Seattle,” he said. “It’s easily prevented by going out with the small dogs at night as they are let out to relieve themselves. It sounds like simple advice, because it is, and can really help keep your small dogs safe. Removing this attraction can help keep coyotes focused on more natural food sources.”
This is the same advice Aaron offered in another phone call last July, which followed his appearance before the Highland Park Action Committee two months earlier. As we wrote then, he says that even dogs staying in their own yards might be “coaxed” by coyotes to come to the edge of the yard, where the larger canines can grab them. As for cats? As with dogs, if they’re outside and unaccompanied, they’re at risk.
He told us tonight he wants to get this advice out again “to (help) keep coyotes wild in our part of the city.” And they’re out there – if you haven’t seen our coverage before, five years of sightings are archived here). Sightings we’ve heard about this month include:
*Early morning, near Fauntleroy Church/YMCA
*Late morning, 9700 block 30th SW, “jumped our back fence and headed east towards 28th and Safeway”
*Early evening, California Lane (North Admiral)
*Early afternoon, crossing Fauntleroy Way at SW Rose Street: “Moving up from the park into the neighborhood”
What if you come face to face with one? Best advice: Scare it away. That too will help keep them wild, which is what’s best for them, us, and our pets, experts stress, over and over again. More advice here.
(Click image for larger view)
Joe shared that photo a short time ago after spotting the coyote in a backyard in the 3900 block of 55th SW (map). “This one looks like a big one,” he observed. As always, a reminder – best thing to do if you see a coyote relatively close-up is to scare it away, yelling, waving your arms, throwing things. And as a state wildlife biologist told a recent meeting at West Seattle’s Camp Long, an even-more-important action to take to make sure people, pets, and coyotes stay apart is to reduce food sources – including pet food, bird feeders, unsecured trash. Here’s the official state info-sheet with more on all of the above advice, and then some.
Thanks to Angelique for sharing the photo of a coyote spotted in her neighbor’s yard near Delridge/Willow (map). Hard to tell from the photo, but from a video clip she also sent (see it here), it was seen in mid-meal, and the main course looked to Angelique like a raccoon.
The photo gives us another reason to remind you about Wednesday night’s event at Camp Long Environmental Learning Center – the first time in years that you have a chance to come learn (and ask) about coexisting with coyotes – safely for you and for them. Here’s the announcement again:
Living with Coyotes in Seattle
Coyotes live in our neighborhoods and we humans can learn to live with them. Camp Long and the WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife team up to give tips and insight into co-existing safely with these wild dogs. Learn how they live and how humans can avoid and resolve conflict with them.
Camp Long Lodge
Wednesday, November 13th
7 PM to 8:30 PM
Camp Long’s entrance is at 5200 35th SW.
Unless you’re a brand-new WSB reader, you likely know we have been sharing coyote reports and information here for more than five years (all archived here, newest to oldest). If you have questions – or are just curious to find out more about them – mark your calendar for an event next week at Camp Long Environmental Learning Center (not far from where Mark Wangerin photographed the one shown above, this time last year). Here’s the announcement:
Coyotes live in our neighborhoods and we humans can learn to live with them. Camp Long and the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife team up to give tips and insight into co-existing safely with these wild dogs. Learn how they live and how humans can avoid and resolve conflict with them.
Camp Long Lodge (5200 35th SW)
Wednesday, November 13th
7 PM to 8:30 PM
SIDE NOTE – RECENT SIGHTINGS: Before receiving this announcement, we had two sightings in queue for publication, so we’ll mention them here:
*This morning, Jason reported: “Saw a fairly large coyote last night, around 8 pm, at 50th ave and Dawson St in Seaview. He ran into an alley between Dawson and Hudson, and 50th and 51st.”
*From Melissa yesterday, “Just had a coyote head up the hill here on Othello, heading up to Riverview Park. And in the time it took me to type that, it just came back down the street. Couldn’t get a picture. It was moving pretty fast. I don’t think it’s full grown, since it isn’t as big as the last one I saw.”
Four West Seattle coyote reports have come in today – two with photos, starting with the one above, from Kerry Murphy:
We were at Lincoln Park today around noon and a very bold coyote was lurking in the same pretty public spot for about an hour. We were surprised that it was lurking so close to so many people, kids, dogs – it was actually pretty busy there today! It was hanging along the path that runs just west of the gravel path that leads toward the baseball field from the north parking lot.
Stacy saw one on Genesee Hill around 6 tonight:
I was just heading out to walk my dog and saw what I thought was a loose dog running down the middle of 53rd between Genesee and Dakota. [map] At second glance I realized it was a coyote. He ran down the sidewalk, crossed over Dakota and continued down 53rd then turned back and darted into a neighbor’s yard. He must have been hiding out there because my dog started going bananas as we walked down that block. Pet owners in the area, please keep your pets inside!!
And Sean sent a sighting report this afternoon:
Just saw a big coyote going down 36th. He/she turned and went down Raymond heading west. [map] Pretty cool. First coyote sighting for me in West Seattle.
We had two holdover reports from earlier in the week – Eve saw one Monday morning at 32nd and Holden (map), “headed south,” while Jeff saw one near 48th/Raymond (map) last Sunday afternoon, “seemed like a juvenile that was not sure where to go.”
The most recent West Seattle coyote reports shared by WSB readers:
*From Greg this morning: “Saw a few coyotes today at Brandon and 29th along the Longfellow Creek entrance.” [map]
*From Christopher on Saturday afternoon: “Pretty sure I just saw a coyote in the alley between Fauntleroy and 39th and Graham and Morgan.” [map]
*From Karen on Friday: “2 coyotes seen on 98th & 39th Ave SW, 5:30 pm Friday Oct. 18th, just 2 blocks off the top of Fauntleroy Park.” [map]
*From Chris, also early Friday evening: “Just saw a lone coyote poking around in the alley behind our house at 30th and Webster. It headed off down Webster.” [map]
*And on Thursday, Rachael reported that her “neighbor just saw a coyote on 10th & Elmgrove in Highland Park.” [map]
To wrap up this roundup, something new: Ron, who reads WSB daily from his residence in Mexico, sends “coyote news from elsewhere” on occasion. This week, he e-mailed a link from TV’s “Dog Whisperer,” headlined Five Ways to Keep Your Dogs Safe From Coyotes.
Four sightings reported in the past (almost) 24 hours:
*Just called in this morning, “big male coyote at 50th and Graham.” [map]
And three in eastern West Seattle:
*Jonel e-mailed late last night: “Just saw a coyote running down the sidewalk on SW Webster between 16th and 14th. [map] He ran when he saw humans.”
*Jeff saw one “standing in our driveway” around 1 pm Saturday, “6000 block of 17th SW. [map] Ran away when our dog started barking.”
And Kellie reported that her son saw what might have bene the same one on Saturday afternoon while “walking on 17th from the path by Duwamish Housing, up the Graham stairs towards 16th and SSCC.” [map]
Scaring them away is best for them and you, so they are conditioned to keep a healthy distance from humans (and their pets), as advised by state wildlife authorities (if you’ve never followed that link we usually include with coyote reports, it’s got lots of other good advice too).
Out of the WSB inbox this afternoon, from Ann Marie:
There’s a couple running around right now around 28th/27th & Kenyon. [map] I’ve seen them twice now this afternoon…bring your cats in!
As always – we share this “coexisting with coyotes” info including how to scare one off if you see one (or two!).
Thanks to Shawn for sharing news of this sighting:
I just wanted to inform everyone that at 6:45 am this morning I ran into a coyote at the corner of 36th & Brandon [map]. It headed toward Fairmount (Playfield). Please let the neighborhood know to keep their pets indoors.
We share sighting reports not to stir fear but just to be sure people are aware that coyotes are pretty much everywhere in our area, even if you’ve never seen one. Here’s the state’s advice on what to do if you see one, and how to reduce the chances they’ll want to hang around your house, among other things.
Three recent coyote sightings to pass along, starting with this one sent today by Lois:
Friday morning about 9, a coyote came up the hill into our yard. Left when we pounded on the window. Went back down the hill. One of our cats is missing. He had only been out 30 minutes or so. This is in the 2300 block of 51st SW. Close to the College Street ravine.
From Paul in Fauntleroy:
Coyote sighting, Wednesday, October 2. It was on Tillicum SW between SW Donovan and SW Cloverdale st. This was at 9:50 am. It took its time after staring at me and then turned and trotted off to Donovan heading West.
And Michael reported this Gatewood sighting a week and a half ago: “Just saw two coyotes walking west along Portland between California Ave and 44th Ave.”
So what do you do if you see one? Lots of good advice on this state webpage – including steps to take around your house to help increase the chances they’ll keep their distance.
First coyote report in a few weeks, shared this morning by Diane:
Around 10:45 pm last night I was heading up my street (Garlough Ave SW) and saw two of them, heading south, about mid block, between Stevens and Hanford street (map). They then headed west into a neighbor’s yard, most likely one that has access to the back alley. We live close to a trail into Schmitz Park and I wasn’t surprised to see them. My neighbor has seen them in the back yard sometimes. The back yard is on the park boundary, near the trail leading into it.
Reminders are always good for those with pets – keep them inside at night!
Even if you’re not near a park or greenbelt, they might be in your area – browse the WSB archive of coyote reports (some with photos) to see. For expert advice on how to encourage them to keep their distance – most notably, scaring them away if you see one – go here and follow the “solutions to problems” link.
Jenn says she and her dog were out before 5 am today when this happened:
I just got back from walking my dog, and coming across a coyote standing at Alaska and 46th SW, 2 blocks from the Junction. It was in the yard of the home on the SW corner of the intersection.
It crossed Alaska as we approached, and as I realized what it was, we turned around immediately and went back the way we had come. The coyote then reappeared and began following us right back down 46th. It was very brave. My dog, of course, then stops to poop….and the coyote is still coming. It was getting WAY too close for comfort. We crossed to the other side of 46th, and it didn’t follow us, but continued walking our direction. We scurried into our house quickly!/blockquote>
Out of the WSB inbox, from Kari:
Last night around 3 am, we spotted two healthy adult coyotes and maybe a younger one walking down our street on 31st PL SW just north of Roxbury [map]. They were heading north, but might’ve ducked behind a neighbor’s house to the east of us. There’s a big ravine down there, but we also have a ton of cats on our street including our own, so maybe that’s what attracted them.
Almost two weeks ago, we wrote about coyote-avoidance advice from an expert: A federal agent who is paid to investigate coyote-neighborhood conflicts, and sometimes to very quietly take lethal action.
Don’t even let your dog out into your yard alone, he warned, let alone let your cat roam the neighborhood, unless you are well aware it is putting them in the path of potentially deadly harm. (Not just from coyotes – raccoons, cars, other dogs/cats, you name it.)
If you still don’t believe him, listen to the story an Admiral resident contacted us to share. (The resident did not want to be identified.)
The resident says that a family dog was attacked by at least one coyote, while in a fenced yard in their Belvidere-area neighborhood.
Not a little dog, either – the 62-pound border collie mix on the left. The resident’s spouse was home when it happened more than a week ago and did not see the attack, but the diagnosis was made by the size and spacing of puncture wounds, and they were told that the number of bites suggested multiple coyotes because, “It would be rare for them to attack a large dog on their own.” The resident tells the story:
Our latest West Seattle coyote sighting comes with a photo. David Roth saw this one “at the end of Victoria Avenue SW” on Monday and sent the photo today. That’s along the Duwamish Head Greenbelt, according to Google Maps.
In our most recent coyote coverage (our five-year archive is here), a federal wildlife-control agent had contacted WSB to urge local residents to take precautions to discourage their proximity to neighborhoods, including not letting pets out by themselves, not leaving pet food out (or anything else – like bird feeders – that coyotes might find tasty), and, if you see one, actively scaring it away, by hollering and throwing things, among other tips. More info is in this state publication we often share to close out coyote-sighting reports, which we publish as a public service to remind more people they’re out there, pretty much everywhere, and if you assume they’re not in your neighborhood because you’ve never seen one, you’re probably wrong.
The latest round of coyote concern in West Seattle is NOT grounds for trapping and killing one (or more). We heard that today from a source that might surprise you – an agent of the federal Wildlife Services division who works in West Seattle. Last summer, we reported on his appearance in the Seola area, where neighbors were raising money for a four-digit “co-op” fee solicited for federal help; this year, Admiral residents seeking to do the same thing distributed flyers like this one. Then today, the agent called us out of the blue, to ask us to get the word out on what he advises people should do to minimize coyote conflict:
The photo and coyote-sighting report are from Diane:
This morning once again, there was a raucous squawking of crows in the Delridge P-Patch. When we looked around, we saw a coyote run through the garden and walk into the picket-fenced yard alongside Cottage Grove Park.
We were harvesting peas from the Giving Garden plots. We’ve already harvested and donated over 250 pounds of produce to White Center Food Bank this growing season.
Congratulations to the gardeners on their generous gifts! Meantime, what the crows did is more or less what you are advised to do when you see a coyote, for your sake and theirs – scare it away. As always, we share this informational link with specific advice.
The latest West Seattle coyote sighting was shared by Diane, and it paints quite the picture:
Today, a coyote was chased by crows through the Delridge P-Patch parking lot along Puget Blvd toward the Longfellow Creek greenbelt. It looked like a very healthy male.
As always – we share this advice about what to do if you see a coyote as well as how to reduce the chance of conflicts. (The crows seem to know already.)
ADDED 9:28 PM: Another one came in right after we published this. From Melissa:
Just had a coyote go trotting down the street here, heading toward 16th. I’m just below Riverview Park on Othello. He moved too fast for me to get a pic, though. Figured I’d pass along a head’s up.
Someone asked us recently about the Schmitz Park coyotes, saying they hadn’t heard (much less seen) them lately. This sighting report received late Sunday night suggests they’re still around
I live near Schmitz Park Elementary on 50th and Spokane St. I was sitting on our patio in the back of our house at about 10:45 pm tonight and saw a single adult coyote heading north in our alley. 50th street “T” ‘s in to Spokane street at the front of Schmitz Park Elementary. Schmitz Park Preserve comes right up to the street in between the school and a residential property. Many homes border the preserve and there are no fences to keep coyotes from coming up to hunt in the neighborhoods. If anyone has pets that go out at night, please consider having them come in at night. I know how much we treasure out pets and I would not want any one to lose one to a coyote or raptor. Domestic pets don’t have a healthy fear of wild animals and large raptors that hunt in the nights and early morning hours. I was stunned to see one out in my neighbor’s yard. I have heard them but never actually seen them. One day they howled at the edge of the park around midnight and then another time at 9:30 in the morning. That was an odd time to hear them. I thought they were nocturnal. Hope this is helpful to those walking with pets in the evening as well.
There’s more you should know about co-existing with coyotes – read the state’s advice here.
Early Tuesday, we published a coyote-sighting report for the first time in a while, after some had asked us if they somehow weren’t around any more. Yes, they are, as these photos show – Mark Wangerin photographed the coyote pup above, earlier this week at Camp Long, and not far away, minutes ago, Zane sent us this photo from the West Seattle Golf Course:
Zane saw the coyote and a pup around the 12th hole, fifteen minutes ago. Reminder: It’s best for us and them if they keep their distance – lots of advice here about not providing food, and about scaring them away if they get too close.
We’ve been asked a few times lately, what happened to all the coyotes? We haven’t heard of any sightings for a while, but that by no means suggests they’re not still out there. And in fact, Tiann just reported moments ago:
Just saw 2 coyotes between Webster and Holden on 14th. … They must be lost. That’s a very odd area for coyotes to be seen.
Not that unusual, actually – coyotes have been discussed before at the Highland Park Action Committee‘s meetings, just a couple blocks from Tiann’s sighting, with a brief appearance this spring by the federal hunter whose rounds made a stir last year (his advice about ensuring we and they keep away from each other was the same you’ll find here).
(Video sent by Bob Mohr, recorded by son Jack, in Genesee Hill around sunset Monday, between 55th/54th/Genesee/Dakota)
While that short clip of a coyote on the run in a West Seattle neighborhood – watch the sidewalk at :25 and :40 – isn’t from Highland Park, that neighborhood’s plan to talk about coyotes and other urban wildlife tomorrow night would seem to be of interest to all. A federal wildlife biologist is on the Highland Park Action Committee‘s agenda, 7 pm Wednesday at HP Improvement Club (12th/Holden), and all are welcome. Also on the agenda: The proposed Duwamish River cleanup plan, and why, with a month left for public comment, it should matter to you.
(November 2nd photo by Scott Painter)
That photo was taken at Camp Long about 400 feet north of the lodge, by the photographer’s estimate. But as you’ll see in this roundup of recent reports received from WSB readers, they don’t by any means limit themselves to parks and greenbelts. The photographs we receive tend to show them in those settings, but here’s one spotted on a neighborhood sidewalk:
Katina, who shared that photo, explained:
My family and I encountered this coyote at the intersection of Walnut Ave SW and SW Hinds (October 28th) at 10:30 am. It was clearly injured about the neck area. It was originally sitting in the middle to the street, but began to run as our car approached. It then slowed down and just stared at us before taking off down 40th Ave SW.
Seven more recent reports are ahead, starting with a pet owner who saw two coyotes make off with her cat:Read More