Saturday, September 12, 2009


Since our Coyote Encounter, I've been trying to get a good picture of one of these sneaky varmints. I see a lot of coyotes around here, but for a myriad of reasons have never taken a decent picture of one -- it is too early for good light, or I can't get the camera out in time, or I get the photo, but it is of the coyote's hind end as he escapes into the bush. Never a decent shot.

But, early this morning turning a corner, I caught this guy by surprise. He froze and we froze. The camera worked and I got this shot.

When we lived more toward central Pasadena, we occasionally saw coyotes who would roam the street early in the morning. They are very good at what they do, which is sneak around and scavenge any food they can find. And they are not picky eaters. So, with more people there is more food around to scavenge, which allows for more coyotes.

Since moving to NE Pas, near the foothills, we regularly see coyotes. Mostly they're out in the early morning. I've seen them at night eyeing our chickens through the chicken wire. We also hear their hyena-like yelps. Here's sample of what a pack of coyotes sounds like courtesy of the LA County Agricultural Dept.

Our big Coyote Encounter was a year and a half ago. We had just started keeping chickens and were introducing our young hens to their newly built outdoor coop. Well, the gate to our otherwise super-secure coop was apparently left open. I made it outside just in time to see a coyote grab a hen in his mouth and run away. It was a sad day.

But, fortunately it was still spring and we were undeterred. We went right out and got six more day old chicks and started over. Since then, we make sure the gate is latched. We also have a dog, who barks like crazy whenever predators are near.


Cafe Pasadena said...

You got this nice shot this morning, in your area, NE Allen? Like it a brunch!
Looks like she stopped to pose for you. Coyotes have distinctive features which suggest that they were put together from more than one animal!
I blogged about an encounter back in July.
I usually see them around sundown and later.

altadenahiker said...

Great shot. Coyotes are a favorite of mine, and I particularly like to hear their evening song. I'd swear they're bigger now than they were 10 years ago.

Michael Coppess said...

Thanks for the comments Cafe and Hiker! I have been surprised at the size of some of the coyotes I periodically see casing our chicken coop. Maybe they are so well nourished around here they're just getting bigger.

To Cafe's question about where this photo was taken -- I am chagrined to say I was out of my jurisidiction. The shot was taken yesterday at about 7 am down by the casting pond in the Arroyo on the west side of town. I'm still looking for a good shot of an eastside coyote.

tamara said...

Here in New England, our coyotes came here by way of Canada. Well, that's the theory anyway, since their DNA is mixed with Canadian Wolves. They are rather larger then the ones I remember in Chatsworth Park, and rather scary when you run into them walking small Terriers that think they are big tough guys.

townsend, ma.

Petrea said...

A beautiful shot of a beautiful animal. I have such respect for these lovely canines. What a coup that you got him to pose for you.