I saw a coyote in the park nearby, leaping through the deep snow, earlier this week. I saw the same one in our back alley the same night, minutes later. I don’t see them often here, myself. And sadly, I have never heard them sing since moving to the city. More often I see the tracks in the snow in the morning – that lone set of ‘dog’ tracks with no companion human tracks alongside, meandering around the neighbourhood. Once recently I saw a pair of these independent canine tracks – one large and one small, going down our front sidewalk and, boldly, right up our neighbour’s front walk.
This one’s size surprised me when I saw it again in the alley, out of the park’s deep snow. I always think of coyotes as small – I guess my basis of comparison has always been wolves (in the abstract). I was surprised to see that, with all that silky, fluffy hair, it looked about the size of my own 50lb dog. City living must be kind to him!
This drove me to my trusty, all purpose Alberta Nature Guide (Lone Pine), that I picked up at that source of all things country – Peavey Mart! Lo and behold, a coyote’s weight is listed as 10 – 22 kg. Which means nothing to me. So I Googled it to good old pounds and found that it’s nearly 50 lbs! And stands 2 feet high.
All this led me back to Google, which taught me that this Western Canadian coyote is even smaller than his Eastern cousins! And that nice soft-looking coat he has is softer than the coats of his relatives out east, too. (source)
Recently, CBC’s Nature of Things had a feature on foxes in which it said that coyotes inhabit the green spaces of the city while foxes tend to lurk in habituated neighbourhoods. Your area of park, river, and houses gives the coyote a variety of sources from which to find food, proven by its nice coat! I’ve noticed more rabbits in my area this winter, leading to the question, will coyotes soon follow? We shall see. Living on the edge of my city may hold the door open, although I’m not close to the river, which usually is the avenue though which wildlife travels.