Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Coyote Returns to Columbus Park! February 19, 2010

Filed under: Animals,Mammals,Seasons,Winter — saltthesandbox @ 3:44 pm
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When we first started birding at Columbus Park almost four years ago, Coyotes were year-round residents in the Park. We used to find their tracks crossing the snow-covered golf course, and we sometimes saw the Coyotes if we arrived early in the morning. Some folks even said they had seen a Coyote den in the Park.

Then about 14 months ago, Coyotes disappeared from the Park. The last time I saw one there was December 18, 2008. So, I was very pleased this morning when I saw a Coyote just standing there in the middle of the golf course:

Coyote, Columbus Park, Chicago, Illinois, February 19, 2010.

The Coyote was just standing there in the middle of Columbus Park golf course.

I only had the Sony DSC-H50 camera, with its 15 times zoom, so my photos only hint at how beautiful it was:

Coyote, Columbus Park, Chicago, Illinois, February 19, 2010.

The Coyote kept an eye me and everything else that moved or made noise around the edges of the golf course.

Coyote, Columbus Park, Chicago, Illinois, February 19, 2010.

I tried to sneak closer by walking up behind the golf-course sanctuary prairie, but no such luck. When I peeked around the dried wildflowers, it was gone.

So, what’s a Coyote going to eat in Columbus Park? This past summer and fall we saw lots more Cottontail Rabbits than usual, and there are still lots of Gray and Fox Squirrels in the Park. Also, the snow is melting, and small flocks of Canada Geese have been returning to feed on exposed grass. Later this spring there may be 500 or more geese visiting the Park each day. For a lighter snack, there are often 40 or 50 Mourning Doves roosting on the south sides of wooded areas. Today they were just sitting on the ground, soaking up the sunlight. If all else fails, there’s usually something edible in the trash bins near the food bank, and some folks scatter bread to feed the wildlife.

So, it seems an enterprising Coyote could make a life for itself in this Chicago city park. We’ll see if this one sticks around.


For lots more information about the Coyotes that live in the Chicago area, check out The Cook County, Illinois, Coyote Project: Urban Coyote Ecology and Management.


8 Responses to “Coyote Returns to Columbus Park!”

  1. Joy Says:

    I’ve flown in a hot-air balloon over Napa Valley, early early early in the morning. We flew right over a coyote standing in the middle of an unpaved back road, her shadow stretching far behind her, bark/howling at the morning. It’s one of my favorite memories.

  2. Juliet Says:

    Great photos. I do miss North American wildlife. Over here reintroducing beaver has caused considerable controversy!

  3. Melissa Says:

    Lovely! I’ve been tracking NYC’s coyotes. Last night I was lucky enough to watch the Central Park coyote for some time. Also wary, as you described, and also lovely. Urban wildlife is the wave of the future.

  4. Ian Says:

    I saw the coyote in the park a couple of weeks ago, just north of I-290, about 10 yards in from Austin Blvd, about 9pm. Had to do a double-take as I drove by.

    • That’s great! For the last week or so we’ve been seeing TWO coyotes in full daylight, often walking out in the open or laying on the grass on the golf course. A police officer told me that he hears at least two coyotes howling in the Park at 5:30 a.m. So, maybe we’ll have baby Coyotes sometime this spring.


      • Robin Arbetman Says:

        I am also really enjoying the coyotes in Columbus Park! Last week I saw two on the edge of the inward bank of the lagoon in the morning. It looked like they were enjoying coffee and croissants. Then this morning there was, as usual, one sitting outside the wooded area on the golf course where I think they live. We were following the driveway eastward into the park and right where it ends we came upon two more…..really having fun playing with each other. One jumped up into a tree (quite the athlete) and the other one chased it and then rolled around in the snow. They ran off without making any sound at all. I never seem able to get my phone out to take a picture because I am so star struck when I see them. Now, maybe 20 minutes ago, there was a slightly smaller coyote running down my street (600 south on Humphrey). Maybe there were some pups born this winter?
        I also saw a totally psychotic possum this morning….running in circles on Jackson Blvd. Wonder if it saw the coyotes too?

  5. David Says:

    I think I saw him yesterday at dusk emerging partially from the woods on the 3rd hole! It was too dark and too far away to get a good picture.

  6. incognito Says:

    The coyotes are so bad here in columbus. I’m always seeing them and hearing them everywhere. Can’t let my dogs out without worrying now. A lot of cattle in the area have been killed. Yes they’re and wonderful creature, but don’t underestimate them. Last thurday me and my family saw four wolves in the area. Its a full moon tonight and light out I never really got to see them at night or knew where they exactly were, but now I know they were right in my back yard.

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