Sunday, December 27, 2009
Coyotes are now found in every state of the Union except Hawaii, and everywhere their numbers are on the rise.
Sean O'Quinn sends me these photos of a coyote he photographed just a few miles outside of Fort Pierce, Florida. He says coyotes have just arrived in his neck of the woods, but clearly they fear little if they are so bold as to be abroad in daylight.
Eastern coyotes are extremely variable in size, with some as large as small wolves, and others sized quite a lot smaller, similar to their western counterpart.
In the East, there is no shortage of food for coyotes, from mice, rats, possums, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, groundhogs, and wild turkey, to gut-shot deer, downed duck, and feral cats. Perhaps the biggest buffet of all is roadkill. Around Ft. Pierce, the menu will be supplemented by snakes, frogs, and lizards (including iguanas), which are all found in abundance.
Ft. Pierce is surrounded by farm land and variable edge habitat combining pine woods, scrub, lush prairie areas, marsh, lake, and shore. Bottom line: It would hard to find a more ideal location in which to grow up as a young coyote.