Wednesday, May 7, 2014

wild danger?


I get to see some wildlife while working very early in the morning, though mostly it is raccoons, rabbits, skunks and the odd possum and fox.  Now, it seems we have coyotes in the area.
The first time I saw one, I thought it was a dog and wondered where his owner was. He was walking along the circular driveway of an apartment building at 3am.  A couple of nights later, in the same area, I saw him again and realized my mistake. That was almost two years ago.  Now I see more of them than foxes, though it is still an infrequent sighting.  Every time the coyote was alone.




But, now it is spring, and that means babies, so off I went to find the family that have made a den in Paletta Park. Signs have been posted and a barricade put up, though it is mostly as a warning. I read an article in the newspaper (from Toronto) that said 

Burlington putting up barricades after coyote sightings

“For your own sense of safety, we urge residents to be aware and to follow the safety tips we suggest."

The 'barricades' seemed to me to be perfectly reasonable - no-one was stopped from using the trail, it was somewhere to put the sign and make you consider. The snarky comments were a bit much - did they even read beyond the headline? - I've not heard anyone complaining or whining, and they are in a ravined park afterall. Really, sometimes, I think should not read the comments section.
Anyway, I wandered in not at dawn or dusk and without a small dog or child, and saw a few other people, some like myself, hoping to catch a glimpse from afar.


I thought at one point, I saw something almost reddish and bigger than a rabbit running, but it was too quick to tell if it was one of the five pups.  This part of the trail is left in a natural state and there are lots of downed branches, some have been there for years, some are from the recent storm in December. As you can see, there is only a smidgen of green showing, even at this late date. 

but there was one sign of spring... very soon. 
Patience, people. Lots of patience.


26 comments:

  1. Never seen signs like these. We have coyotes around here, but they are seldom seen.

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    1. I've only seen them because I am out driving at night.

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  2. I've never seen one but you hear stories of them down in the ravines at dusk!

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    1. surprisingly, I saw one once in the middle of the road, howling. not sure who he thought was listening.

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  3. We had a coyote roaming our neighbourhood last summer in broad daylight that was seen on several occasions. I am glad they did not exterminate the coyotes in your area.

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    1. I guess they are safe until a small dog gets killed. then people get upset.

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  4. my middle son said his female goat was killed by a coyote seen by a neighbor. so sad that we've encroached upon their habitat, even though unintentionally.

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    1. we haven't encroached on their territory - they are actually from the midwest and no-one seems sure why they have moved this far east.
      sorry about the goat. I saw this one with a rabbit, but they are very small and manageable.

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  5. Good signage to warn folks. We learned to have a healthy respect of coyotes when we lived in AZ. We always enjoy seeing/hearing them, but one definitely must not leave their pets outside (in a yard), unattended. Coyotes can easily jump a 6-foot fence. We never had any trouble (with coyotes) when walking our dog on a leash at night, but that's not to say it doesn't happen.

    ~Lindy

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    1. a healthy respect is definitely the way to go. and they aren't particularly wanting to interact with you, either.

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  6. When we lived in the mountains in Southern California, we would lose the occasional cat to a group of coyotes that would come by through the woods behind the house at night. I suppose we were pretty casual about that. It would bother the hell out of me now.

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    1. Perhaps living in the mountains makes you more aware of the 'law of nature' and therefore the more casual attitude? such things aren't suppose to happen in a city, though, so we get all up in arms over it.

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  7. We have foxes here but it's very rare to spot them.

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    1. and they possibly like it that way!

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  8. i've never seen a coyote den...i bet the babies are cute!

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    1. if I find them, I'll let you know what it's like

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  9. Since they built behind us we haven't heard the coyotes...we still see raccoons, possum, rabbits, skunks and the occasional fox.

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    1. I only heard him the one time, mostly he is very quiet. unlike those pesky, noisy raccoons!

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  10. We don't have signs like that here in Minnesota. They do occasionally warn people on the news about watching their small pets though. While walking in a large hilly natural park last fall, I came face to face with a coyote on the path. It was a rainy, misty day and no one else was walking. We both stopped and looked at each other, (about 25 feet apart), and the coyote ran into the trees and I never saw it again. I felt very lucky to have seen this elusive animal in its natural habitat!

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    1. I always feel lucky when I see wildlife. I know some people find them a nuisance - and they can be - but still, it can be a wonderful moment.

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  11. It sounds like a good and measured response by the authorities. I hope you get to see the coyotes but do keep safe.

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    1. they seem to be playing it safe as I've gone back twice and still no sightings.

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  12. Coyotes - the very name gives me the chills and yet I don't even live in a country with them. Quite weird.

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    1. yet, somehow I can understand that!

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  13. I heard about these coyotes, though haven't seen any up near Bronte where I am. Personally I like to be forewarned. Hope you aren't taking a wee dog with you!

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    1. ha - no dog. I'm a little surprised you haven't seen any if you are near Bronte. I see this one at Walkers/New often.

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