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December 26, 2007



The coyote's winter coat can be pretty spectacular. Little by little the coyote is spreading their range across the States which is good news/bad news for us. Good news because they'll knock down the rabbit and small rodent population, bad news because they don't discriminate between rats and rat-like dogs. Small pets beware!


We had a few coyote sightings when my neighborhood was newer, but not for the last several years. If they would knock down our rabbit population, I'd welcome them back.


A pair of coyotes frequent the scrubby woods behind my house in Woodbury, MN. They are closer to what you describe than the photo you got from the city web site. "My" coyotes have many-colored shaggy coats, too. I always can tell when it's the coyote who is out in the woods rather than some of the other plentiful wildlife because my Malinois mix, 64 lbs., freezes and goes quiet when the coyotes are near. He doesn't cringe, but he turns his head slightly and looks down so as not to look in their direction. He seems to want to indicate that he is not challenging them in any way. This is a direct contrast to how he acts when the squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, opossums, bald eagles, deer, moose, or the black bear show up.


Steven & Carol: I feel like putting up a sign pointing under our deck saying, "Rabbits Here!"

Katharine: I've been hearing about coyotes on the other side of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers for a few years now (Eagan, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Woodbury), but never in Bloomington. Our little neighborhood is very wooded and is a perfect habitat, so I'm not surprised that one (or more?) has shown up.

Our dog, Brix, has yet to see a coyote, but I think he's smelled his tracks and perhaps urine - when it's happened, the dog has gone completely still (like yours) and looked very intently into the woods.


So Tracy, I'm curious....do you think a coyote in your neighborhood is a good thing or a bad thing?
We live out in the country and I've heard them howling across the highway in a farm field (an ambulance siren really gets them going!)
I personally think it would be neat to have them around, but here in farm & livestock country, I know a lot of farmers despise them (deer & pheasant hunters, too).


Ruthie: I've been thinking about your question a lot. I think it's incredibly cool to have wildlife back in areas (like suburbs) that have been off-limits for so long. Over the past few weeks I've seen a bald eagle soaring over the intersection of 90th and Penn in Bloomington - if there is anywhere that is "suburban," that's it. We also have a lot of rabbits and deer, so anything that will deplete the population of either is okay by me. (BTW - I'm not against hunting, especially when natural predators are not available to help keep things in balance.)

On the other hand, a mountain lion was killed by police a few years ago just about 3-4 miles from my house - close to the Mall of America, actually. Once you get the "real" predators coming into town, I guess its a whole new feeling. Bear haven't made it as far south in the Cities as I am, but they're in the northern suburbs. I believe gray wolves can now be found just north of the Cities (I think Camp Ripley has a pack or two).

So, I guess I'm of two minds. It's very cool to live and watch wildlife everyday. On the other hand, the predators are moving closer, too. It only makes sense, especially since the deer population is so high, but I know for sure when the mountain lion was wandering around Bloomington (there were several sightings before it was shot) I was a lot more alert when I took the dog for his evening walks!


Hello everyone, I enjoyed your writing thanks!

I also live in Bloomington at 90th & Johnson Ave S. where behind my backyard is the huge marsh and France Ave. One morning about 3 weeks ago, I was working on my computer right by the window and out the corner of my eye I saw a an animal trotting along the other side of the fence. I turned to look and was shocked to see a huge coyote! The same wolf-like coloring you've described and the size of a medium dog. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing--it was like watching Wild America right in my backyard! It made me nervous too, because my 15lb. malte-tzu dog takes his potty breaks back there (luckily he wasn't at the time).

Then a few nights ago after coming home from work very late, my dog and I heard a bloody murder scream in our pitch-black backyard! We froze and stared toward the direction of the loud agonizing yell of some wild animal being killed (it gave me goosebumps). Even though there's a fence back there, I wasn't going to stand around for the dangerous live show so I've rushed into the house for safety.

I think it was the coyote succeeded in hunting a prey, do you? :)

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