Eastern Coyotes in CT - January 11, 2018
Paul Colburn, a Certified Master Wildlife Conservationist, presented a program about the Eastern Coyote on January 11th at The Hungerford Nature Center in Berlin. Over 30 residents attended the program.
In general, sightings of wildlife in suburban settings have become very common and the Eastern Coyote is one of the more frequently seen predators throughout the state. Coyotes resemble a small, lanky German shepherd dog, with wide, pointed ears, a long muzzle, distinct yellow eyes and an uncurled bushy tail which is carried low to the ground.
Colburn described the coyote as an opportunistic predator that has adapted to a variety of habitats including wooded suburbs, parks, beachfronts, and office parks. The coyote is an omnivore, dieting on small wild animals from mice to deer, some fruits, carrion and, when available, garbage. Some coyotes also prey on small livestock and poultry and reports of coyotes attacking small pets, typically less than 25 pounds in weight, have become more common in Connecticut.
Colburn stressed the importance of not allowing pets to run free. Cats should be kept indoors, particularly at night and small dogs leashed and under close supervision at all times. Although coyotes have displayed bold behavior near people, the risk of a coyote attack on a human is very low. However, this risk can increase if coyotes are intentionally fed and associate the presence of people with food. Colburn also suggested teaching younger children how to recognize coyotes and to go inside the house (do not run) or to climb up on a swing or deck and yell if they are approached.
See photos taken at the program
Additional information can be found at the BLT links below: