Do Coyotes Really Lurk?

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

It happens every summer, a coyote is noticed for a fleeting moment in Oakland County and suddenly neighborhood Facebook chat groups explode with sensationalized reports of a coyote that is “lurking” about.

Words have power. “A deer was lurking in the woods and watching me” would be a laughable sentence. But when it comes to coyote sightings, “lurking” seems to be a word that makes its way into a descriptive sentence. Coyotes don’t lurk. They watch. They listen. They sniff. They observe. They act. And they respond to human behavior. Continue reading

Mysteries of the Mighty Meadow Vole

A close up photo of a meadow vole in the dark.

Photo Credit: Phil Myers, Animal Diversity Web – http://animaldiversity.org

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Eastern coyotes loves meadow voles. So do red foxes. Our near blizzard-like conditions followed by sub-zero temperatures earlier this week did nothing to slow down their love affair with these tiny creatures that remain active all winter and thrive under a wintry blanket of snow. However, it’s a one way love affair because these slightly pudgy, meaty, mouse-sized morsels that we call voles are delectable delicacies for the wild canids that must continue to hunt no matter what Mother Nature brings. As a matter of fact, there is hardly a winter active predator in Oakland County that hasn’t developed a taste for the meadow voles in our wintry midst, and the local list of vole-snatchers includes owls, hawks, mink, weasels, opossums, skunks, raccoons, feral cats and domestic cats. Continue reading