Coyote in the Hood- Canis latrans

A couple of nights ago Jay and I were returning from a night out with some friends. Jay was still in the garage as I approached our house, and got my keys out to open the side door. Just then I looked up to see a dog run past our front gate. There was something about its manner of walking, its body language, that instantly told me this was not somebody's pet on the loose. I called (read: string of whispered cusses) to Jay and we crouched down in our front yard, and saw it run south down our block. It then turned around and ran past our house again and towards the park along the canal. It was a rather robust looking coyote. I knew that there are coyotes living in suburban areas, but this was a first seeing one on my block! We decided to follow it to what I refer to as "Watership Down" park, due to its high number of bunnies. We arrived at the park, and sure enough, there it was in a clearing presumably looking to make a meal out of the park's main inhabitants. It regarded us cooly for a moment, and decided we were no threat and went about its business. It was quite a site, but I guess with mountain lions making it into Chicago, I shouldn't be so surprised. Coyotes are quickly occupying predator niches once occupied by wolves in areas from which they have long been absent. A friend of ours volunteers at Wolf Park, a canid research facility in rural Indiana. He pointed the following blog out to us. I am in no way advocating coyotes as pets, and nor is this woman, I believe, but there are some great photos and insights regarding the raising a wild animal: Daily Coyote.


  1. I love how the coyote is pictured in the background beneath a streetlight as though waiting for an assignation with your wily friend. Have you read "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingsolver? She has some great insights involving humans and their relationship to predators, esp. wolves and coyotes.

  2. oh yes, i do remember reading that book when it first came out. i remember the female character that was researching coyotes. i'll have to revisit the book, as i really enjoyed her insights into our relationships with nature and its cycles. thanks!

  3. Over near the Chicago river 2 blocks away I've been seeing this scrawny little fox lately, right over by Wilson near my house.
    I want to throw him a live chicken or something.


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