By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 at 9:24 am in coyotes.
On Super Bowl Sunday, my wife and kids were sitting with me around the kitchen, when what did I see out my window? What looked to be a small, mangy coyote with sections of hair/fur missing. We live in Pleasant Hill and abut next to Grayson Creek. As can be seen in the pictures, there is a slope down to a large culvert, the water from which flows like a second creek perpendicular and into Grayson.
This creature found its way onto Linda Lane, where we live, before dashing back onto our lot. Can you confirm, is this a coyote, what would it be doing mid-day in our neighborhood besides looking for small pets, and is there danger the animal could return? Why was it missing chunks of its fur? Sometimes we keep our small cocker spaniel tethered outside basking in the sun. Should we be concerned or is this an unusual sighting that’s likely not to be repeated?
Tom & Nancy Anderson, Pleasant Hill, California
Tom & Nancy:
Yep, that’s what it is … a coyote in broad daylight in your Pleasant Hill backyard. Not uncommon, really. Coyotes hunt around the clock and are often seen foraging for food in daytime. Out here in suburbia, especially for those of us who live next to open space areas, these coyotes sometimes do their foraging in our backyards.
They are used to finding bowls of dog or cat food that have been left out on the patio for our pets. They are also looking for garbage, cats, and small dogs to prey on. And yes, it is very possible that this visit might be repeated. And it has probably happened before when you were not there to see the coyote. They tend to “make the rounds” of their territory.
The missing chunks of its fur? The coyote has a pretty bad case of sarcoptic mange, not uncommon in coyotes. The animal otherwise looks pretty healthy so the mange should eventually clear up.
I don’t think I’d leave your “small cocker spaniel” tethered outside basking in the sun … unless there is a human around to keep an eye on it. /Gary