After moving to Point Dume in 2019, we heard people mention that the November 2018 Woolsey Fire had driven coyotes out of the Santa Monica Mountains, across the Pacific Coast Highway and into residential neighborhoods.
An important member of the ecosystem, the coyote keeps rodent and rabbit populations in check.
A couple of weeks ago I spotted this coyote at 8:30 in the morning outside our window. The hill is riddled with ground squirrel tunnels. Ground squirrels make a delicious meal for a carnivore.
Just after taking this photo, our visitor leapt up and landed several feet away. The graceful plume of the black-tipped tail disappeared last as the coyote ambled back toward the street.
Coyotes are coming into backyards all over North America, snatching small family pets and wild animals. Categorized as omnivores, they’ll eat avocados and fruit on orchards’ grounds, rabbits, rodents, opossums, and even roadkill.
“Most wild coyotes are active during the day (diurnal) or right around sunrise and sunset. Where humans are active, coyotes may go on the night shift.”