Texas Coyotes in Suburbia
"A coyote shows up"
Richardson Texas, is definitely a US suburb (it's the first city on the north side of Dallas); it is part of the urban sprawl that is the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.
However, as the urban environment spreads out, the creatures that lived in those formerly open spaces do not always retreat.
Here is the first quick photo taken of a coyote who appeared in our backyard outside our window.
Note that all the photos here were taken at 4:30 p.m. on a pleasant September afternoon.
"The first coyote"
Coyotes use the creeks that are part of the storm sewer system as their highways through suburbia. These creeks are often natural creeks that have been reshaped as needed for purposes of channeling rainwater runoff. After any work, such as placing sealed sanitary sewer lines underneath and placing pipes under roads where the creeks cross, the creeks are allowed to go natural again, providing a lot of natural foliage in a part of the country not known for great trees.
In our case, for much of the year, we cannot see our neighbors across the side and back creeks, because the trees and bushes are so dense.
This photo shows the same coyote (a female) having moved into the backyard (the previous photo was in the side yard), and taking stock of the situation. The trees behind the coyote are in the creek.
"This looks like a good place for a picnic..."
The female coyote, having looked around, decides that this is a pretty good place to stop - so she lays down.
She looks healthy and well fed, unlike a previous coyote visitor who had a broken leg and the mange (mind you, even with a broken leg, that coyote easily outran animal control officers)...
"Now we know why she was waiting..."
Then it became clear why the female coyote chose that spot to lay down - she was waiting for a second coyote to join her!
This second coyote come down the back creek, and cut across our yard to pose for the camera.
The two coyotes obviously know each other, as you can see from this photo.
We aren't sure if the second coyote was a male (didn't get that good of a look), but he was leaner than the female - still looked healthy, though.
After a few minutes, the male (presumably) continued along the side creek in the direction that they are now both looking. He crossed the road in front of our house first, then the female followed shortly thereafter.
Their agenda? To continue up the side creek (there's a well-worn animal path along side the creek) in the direction of a city park, stopping at the backs of houses to check compost heaps for mice and rate, and to perhaps pick off a stray pet.
If you look at my third travelogue here for Richardson, the first photo is an older photo of a coyote crossing the same street, to continue his journey up the side creek the intersects the street in front of our house.
They'll be back...already this fall, we have heard to "yip-yips" of the coyotes getting together in the evening in the open area in our backyard where the back and side creeks meet...it is a sound directly out of a Hollywood western...here in good old suburbia!
It is now October (a month after the previous visit). On a pleasant Friday morning in broad daylight, as I am on a conference call, I see a coyote saunter by my window. I got a photo of him crossing the street and disappearing into the trees along the creek on the other side (remember how I described our creeks as "highways" for the coyotes?)
A few minutes later, when I saw a hawk land in my huge cottonwood tree out back, I grabbed my camera and started to go out the back door...only to find another coyote lounging in my backyard like he/she owned the place. I stood at the back door for 10 minutes, taking photo after photo (the coyote could easily see me through the glass door). The coyote didn't get up and move away until I actually opened the door and walked outside...these guys aren't very afraid of people...