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Archive for the 'coyotes' Category

Anyone lost your pet emu? Two emus were spotted in Briones Regional Park

Two emus in Briones Regional Park. Photo by Bill Green, Martinez, CA
1emus bill green martinez

I saw a pair of Emus in Briones Regional Park last week (Feb. 20-25). Where did they come from?
Bill Green, Martinez, California

You are the second person to report these emus (see other report below). I’m not sure where they came from. They obviously escaped from someplace. I’m trying to track them down even as we speak. I do know there are a few emus living here and there on farms and in some backyards around the San Francisco Bay Area. Keep an eye on this blog for any future information. /Gary
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Posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2012
Under: coyotes, EMU | 6 Comments »

Coyote spotted visiting Pleasant Hill backyard at mid-day

Coyote in Pleasant Hill backyard. Photo by Tom Anderson, Pleasant Hill, CA.
1coyote tom anderson phill

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
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Posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
Under: coyotes | 2 Comments »

Photos of coyote and deer in a standoff

Coyote and deer in standoff. Photo by Scott Campbell, Fairfield, CA
1coyote deer scott campbell fairfield

I’m that guy who captured the photo of the river otters in the Richmond Marina a year or 2 ago.

I was on a hike in the Marina Headlands National Park yesterday and saw something amazing.  I looked up the cliff and saw a deer and a big old coyote nervously watching each other.  The coyote was sizing up the deer while the deer stood motionless, and then I guess the coyote decided, “Naaa, he’s too big, I think I will just lay down tight here and chill.”  I was able to capture that moment with my camera.  The coyote was BEAUTIFUL!  HUGE for a coyote!  It was one of those moments photographers and nature lovers live to see!  Hunter and Hunted just chilling together.

Anyway, I just wanted to share these with you. Have a great day!!
Scott Campbell, Fairfield, California
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Posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2012
Under: coyotes, deer, River otters, Wolves | No Comments »

Coyotes are common throughout the Bay Area — day and night

This coyote likes to take little naps on top of hills. Photo by Marina Chainey, Richmond, CA
1coyote2 marina chainey richmond

I’ve known for years that coyotes have lived in nearby Wildcat Canyon Regional Park.  This year, however, I’ve observed them in daylight on several occasions. This one likes to take little naps on top of hills.  I even saw a pair of them traveling together last weekend!
Marina Chainey, Richmond, California
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Posted on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
Under: coyotes, Coyotes howling | 2 Comments »

Coyotes: Heard or seen any of these song dogs lately?

Coyote howling on Mount Diablo (Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA)
coy howl2

I was just about to fall asleep last night at my home in Benicia, Calif., when I suddenly heard a chorus of coyotes going at it on the little hill across the canyon. Seems like there were 4-5 animals, yipping and yapping and howling their little hearts out. What a wonderful sound. A call to the clan to come gather and enjoy the night together. After they stopped howling, I drifted peacefully off to sleep.

Anybody else hearing coyotes near their homes these days? Please list the information below under “leave a comment.” Include your name, nearest cross streets to your house (where you heard the coyotes yapping) and city where you live. Please include any comments about what you were hearing and anything else you’d care to say. If you’ve seen any coyotes, list that information, approx. date, and nearest cross streets to the sighting (and city). I thought I’d gather all this information together from this impromptu little survey and try and get a feel for the coyote population around the San Francisco Bay Area (or wherever you are!). Let’s hear it! Thanks! /Gary

Coyote howling on Mount Diablo (Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA)
1coyote brian murphy wc

Posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2011
Under: coyotes, Coyotes howling | 16 Comments »

Coyotes: It’s a good rodent year, which means healthy, well-fed coyotes

Healthy juvenile coyote. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
1coyote dave harper oakley

I came up on a small puppy coyote out on its own, and a month later caught up with a juvenile looking song dog which I believe is the same dog. Good to see such a healthy coyote late in the summer when many look rough. His biggest predator will be vehicles on Marsh Creek Road and Camino Diablo.
Dave Harper, Oakley, California

With lots of rain earlier this year, followed of course by all the grass and other vegetation, this has been a good rodent year. And as we all know, when we have lots of rodents … we also have a lot of healthy-looking (well fed) coyotes. Unfortunately, as you say, many will fall prey to predatory cars along the above-named roads. It’s a jungle out there. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
Under: coyotes | No Comments »

Starting to see California quail in local backyards

California quail female with chicks in local backyard. Photo by Lynda Nunn, Walnut Creek, CA
1quail2 lynda nunn wc

I’m starting to get more and more reports of California quail parents bringing their babies into local backyards these days. Ten years ago, there was hardly a quail to be found, I suspect because feral cats were killing them.

I’m also getting email from more and more people who say they’re seeing coyotes near their homes.  I wonder if the coyotes are thinning out the feral cat population, which, in turn, is allowing the quail population to increase?

Time will tell, I guess. Interesting. /Gary

California quail female with chicks in local backyard. Photo by Lynda Nunn, Walnut Creek, CA
1quail4 lynda nunn wc

Posted on Friday, August 5th, 2011
Under: California quail, coyotes, Feral cats | 2 Comments »

Mountain lion tracks and coyote spotted on local hikes

Mountain lion paw print next to human hand. Photo by Anne Jarmuz, Pleasanton, CA
1lionprint anne jarmuz pleasanton

On Thursday, June 23, in the morning, I was on a hike with East Bay Casual Hiking Group out of Castle Rock Regional Rec. Area. We hiked to Borges Ranch Interpretive Center. As we were leaving the center, we say a coyote on the hillside. He was being dive-bombed by many birds. He must have been in their nesting area. He wasn’t at all bothered by the birds or us as we walked by.

Then on June 29, after the June 28 rain, I was hiking the north end of the Pleasanton Ridge. … I passed many very clear footprints on the trail. Could they have been a mountain lion? They were quite large, one image compares to my hand, and I have large hands. There were no nails and it looked like they were following deer tracks.
Anne Jarmuz, Pleasanton, California

Coyotes will often sniff their way through fields where birds (usually blackbirds) are nesting in large numbers, trying to locate the nests by smell so they can eat bird eggs and/or babies. The birds know this and will rage and rant and dive and scream at the coyotes. The coyotes, unfortunately for the birds, are well aware that this is all posturing and the birds can’t do anything to hurt them. As you say, they just ignore the birds.

Looks like a mountain lion print to me. Cat tracks leave no claw marks and it is the right size and shape. Mountain lions also pass through the area. You can Google a search for “mountain lion tracks.” If you compare your photo to the ones you find there, you will see that they match. Pretty neat! /Gary

Coyote on hillside looking for bird nests. Photo by Anne Jarmuz, Pleasanton, CA
1coyote anne jarmuz pleasanton

Posted on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Under: coyotes, Mountain lion | 1 Comment »

Coyote-killing program stopped by public outcry

Coyote photo by Camilla Fox, Project Coyote, Larkspur, CA

Coalition of Wildlife Conservation Organizations Praise Arcadia, Calif.,  City Council’s Unanimous Decision to End $30,000 Annual Contract to Snare & Kill Resident Coyotes

I just received the following information from my friend Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote in Larkspur, Calif. Please read it carefully. If you think you have a similar program where you live, get in touch with Camilla ( so she can advise you on how to put an end to it. Thanks for caring. /Gary

Arcadia, California — A coalition of national and local organizations including Project Coyote, the San Gabriel Friends of Wildlife, the Animal Welfare Institute, and the Angeles Chapter of Sierra Club, praised the Arcadia, Calif.,  City Council for their unanimous vote Tuesday night, Jan. 18, to end the city’s coyote trapping program by the end of the month.
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Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2011
Under: Animal welfare, coyotes, Project Coyote | 1 Comment »

Protect Coyote: Promotes coexistence between people & coyotes

Coyote on Mount Diablo (Brian Murphy/Walnut Creek, CA)

Project Coyote, in Larkspur, CA, is a very interesting and important nonprofit organization. My friend Camilla Fox is the founder and executive director and the mission of her organization is “to promote educated coexistence between people and coyotes and to advocate of behalf of America’s native Song Dog.” I’m definitely for that! It’s time we humans stopped persecuting these beautiful animals.

The latest issue of project Coyote’s “Coyote News” is now available. Check it out. It’s a pretty good read:

You can learn more about Project Coyote at They need your support. Thanks for caring. /Gary

Posted on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
Under: coyotes, Project Coyote | No Comments »