The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

There's an annual coyote census?

Apparently Chicago has one:

Typically, a team of four to six researchers fans out, whacking through the brush looking for holes surrounded by fresh digging or other signs, such as tracks, fur or scat. Sometimes they find two or more in a day, but often they strike out.

At a promising site near Hoffman Estates, a team recently dug for an hour. Forest preserve biologist Chuck Rizzo wormed his way in and explored it with his burrow cam — an infrared camera with its cable stiffened by a noodle, one of those long, floating pool toys. He was pulled out by his feet, looking disappointed.

When a den is found, researchers put their ears to the opening and listen. The mother may still be close, so sometimes they can hear her barking — either to warn the pups or draw away the intruders.

You know what else we have in Chicago? Coyote puppy photos.

Oh, the results of the census: the Chicago area has about 2,000 coyotes, and litter sizes have leveled off. That suggests the area has about the population it can support, as long as they don't start eating fast food.

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