A few days ago I left my gym after another great workout. It was around 9pm. The parking lot and surrounding area was cold and dark. The usual silence was broken by a sound I hadn't heard for 30 years, since I visited a family friends' farm. I heard the distinct sound of coyotes howling. It sounded exactly like this.
I was shocked and not shocked at the same time. I have written rather extensively on the coming issues we have with animals encroaching back into suburbs and cities. On the one hand I was surprised to hear the coyotes so close to me smack dab in the middle of Madison, Wisconsin. They sounded very excited, and I surmised that they were celebrating a kill, be it a domestic dog or perhaps a deer. On the other hand I remembered all I had written about the seemingly increasing populations of wild animals in what used to be a "no mans land" for wild animals - urban centers. After thinking about it a while, it really is no surprise. The zoo does indeed seem to be coming to us.
All of my evidence that I have presented in my writings seems to support the idea that burgeoning populations of coyotes, turkeys, cougars, birds of prey, deer, and other creatures seem to be popping up in and around cities. Also, all of my evidence is totally and completely anecdotal. I am not a wildlife expert, but have a keen interest in this subject. Every single comment I have received here and at other blogs that I write at seems to support one general theme. The theme is that wildlife is almost certainly exploding in population and making a move into cities from the country. I remember some thirty years ago, when I was a boy seeing a deer and thinking it was an act of god. Now there is hardly a day that goes by where I don't see at least one and usually more deer on my way to work. That is only the beginning of what I see as one very large critter problem that we will have to deal with in the very near future.
I am not talking about the idea of "urban sprawl". I am more interested in investigating communities that have been around for quite some time that are now getting visitors that they haven't had for quite some time. Of note, deer and coyotes seem to be making gigantic comebacks. The cougar populations in the plains are swelling too, causing the males to begin making treks outside of their normal lands to find their own hunting and breeding grounds.
But enough of that, on with the links. Today we will cover cougars, coyotes and birds of prey.
Reports from Louisiana, Nebraska (YOW that is one LARGE kitty), Nebraska again (nice shot!), South Dakota (again, nice shot), Manitoba, Saskatoon.
General info about coyotes. Northeast USA, Chicago (youtube link - excellent job by animal control btw), Dallas, New York City, Pittsburgh, Columbus.
Birds of Prey:
Peregrine Falcons in Iowa, Ann Arbor, Buffalo, and general information about the comeback of the Peregrine.
Urban Hawks - A whole blog about the birds of prey in NYC. Amazing photos. Red Tailed Hawk in San Francisco. I see a lot of these around Madison. Also, Red Tailed Hawks in Boston, New York City (good photos), Cleveland and Omaha.
Ealgles: Arlington, New Haven, Dublin, CA, Baltimore, Orlando.
If this subject interests you, visit Jonathan's new blog Subdivision Wildlife , and if you have any photos of urban or surburban wildlife, submit them to me at johnstone185 at gmail dot com, or to Jonathan at submit at subdivisionwildlife dot com.
Cross posted at ChicagoBoyz.