Sunday, February 22, 2015

Coyote Spotted In Bird Sanctuary This Morning

Photo from 2013, of one of a pair of coyotes frolicking in St. Boniface Cemetery
as cars drove past not fifteen feet away.

We know by now that there are urban coyotes throughout Chicago.  We've gotten a lot of reports of them in Uptown over the years.  They generally avoid humans, and studies show their major diet is rodents and birds, not trash or housepets.  They may be bold (I'll never forget one standing in the middle of Fullerton in front of Whirlyball last winter), but they don't enjoy human interaction much. A scientist estimates that there are roughly 2,000 coyotes in Chicago, and that human Chicagoans are growing to accept their presence.

So a warning from a reader if you're coyote-wary:  "Just wanted to let you and your readers know that a big coyote was spotted in the bird sanctuary this morning between Montrose Harbor and The Dock at Montrose Beach. A fellow walker warned me when she saw me walking my dog; then I saw two huskies chasing it back into the sanctuary.  I don't think it'll approach people; just wanted folks to be aware of their surroundings."


  1. If the reader who wrote in on this would be wiling to chat on the subject, I can be reached at I'm a writer at DNA Info & Inside Pubs working on a piece on urban coyotes.

  2. Coyotes might be more active this time of the year. I learned two things which distinguish coyotes from dogs: 1) they only breed once a year and pups are born in January/February. 2) mothers stay in the den and rely on the father to bring food.

  3. Once the pups begin to be weaned (in the spring when most wildlife is dropping young), both parents bring food back to the den. During summer the pups begin hunting on their own, beginning with things like grasshoppers and mice before transitioning to larger prey.