Deer and Coyotes: Hidden in Plain Sight!

deerOpportunities for encounters with the natural world are not limited to the trails of our parklands.  The glacially created  hills, open fields and meadows,  forests,  wetland habitats  and  agriculture practices of Oakland County’s 908 square miles  provide excellent habitat for  our abundant white-tailed deer population  and the elusive eastern coyote; the apex predator of our county.

Deer and coyotes know no borders and most sightings are surprise encounters when they are out in the open very close to homes, crossing a frozen lake or a highway.  During the deep snow days of winter deer visit bird feeders and coyotes scavenger for road kill within yards of homes.   But some of the most exciting encounters occur in the woodlands; where they have the ability to hide in plain sight.

To survive amidst the almost one and a quarter million human residents of the county, large wild species must adapt to human presence and avoid detection. Coloration helps many creatures blend into the woodland environment and they often go unseen when not moving; but there is no question they note the passing of humans.  Predators and their prey both use a motionless stance to avoid detection when danger is nearby.   And if a human takes heed from their behavior and finds a place to wait and watch, they too are hidden in plain sight and the reward may be an up close view of the wilder side of Oakland County.cayoteText and photos by Jonathan Schechter, Nature Education Writer – Oakland County Parks

5 thoughts on “Deer and Coyotes: Hidden in Plain Sight!

  1. That is a great survival skill for the animals in the woods! It’s fun to do the same and experience a critter approaching you at a very close proximity without noticing you are there hiding in plain site. Touché!

  2. […] Deer, coyotes, red foxes, raccoons, skunks, rabbits, mice, opossums and Great Horned Owls. What do they all have in common? They are all “gastronomically grateful” for the existence of bird feeders. The same holds true for Cooper’s hawk, a fast flying accipiter that purses and eats other birds. Perhaps the most grateful creature of all purrs gently on your lap, but given half the chance, a house cat will wait in deadly ambush near a feeder. It’s all about adapting to opportunity, and bird feeders create opportunity, sometimes with unexpected consequences. The season of winter feeder wars and feeder frenzy has arrived. […]

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