Predators at the Park.

HERON AND DUCKS HEADER

It was back to Council Point Park this morning, after an absence of just one day.  When I arrived, Parker was pacing, running back and forth on the pavement in the parking lot.  As usual, he raced over to see me, melting my heart when he put his front paws on my left shoe and gazed at me with such a plaintive look.  In one easy motion, with my left hand I unsnapped my jacket pocket and popped open the Ziploc bag, then fished the camera out of the other pocket with my right hand.  “Just peanuts today for you and your friends Parker” I told him.  “Number one, it is National Nut Day, and number two, you’ll get cavities if I keep feeding you cookies.”

I gave him a little pile of peanuts and he trotted off happily, with a pair of them clenched between his front teeth.  With a parting glance, he turned and looked me straight in the eye.  Hmm – was this his way of saying “thanks” or was he looking to see if any other squirrels were trying to steal his pile of peanuts he reluctantly left behind?

The not-so-friendly skies were bright-blue and hawk-free today.

Like Parker, I also glanced around, but for a different reason than my little buddy.  As I walked through the parking lot, my eyes scanned the skies, then the trees, because I remain on “hawk watch” for any predators that might swoop down on the squirrels while I am feeding them.   I’m still mindful of Stubby’s narrow escape from the Cooper’s Hawk in late Summer, but unfortunately, I cannot be there all the time.

I’ve often mentioned how Parker greets me once he sees me in the neighborhood across from the Park entrance.  Sometimes he follows me across the street when I leave to walk home.

ROCK AND SIGN

He may often be found on this big rock where he’ll perch, using it as a lookout so I don’t miss him, thus ensuring he’ll get another load of peanuts.  He’s a pretty smart cookie!

ROCK.jpg

People often underestimate the intelligence of our furry and feathered friends

People incorrectly give the nickname “bird brain” to our fine-feathered friends.  This is wrong, because birds are much sharper and savvier than you realize.  I know because I had pet birds for most of my life.  So, evidently a Cooper’s Hawk was watching the near-daily interaction between Parker and me on this street corner, because one day I was leaving the Park to head home and still had the camera in my hand.  I saw a bird alight on the top of the street sign near Parker’s rock.  My initial reaction was  “ouch” because those signs are metal and likely sharp and it could cut its feet.  The bird looked large and I thought it was a starling or even a crow.  I zoomed in and took a few shots.  When I uploaded the photos and studied them on the screen, I saw the bird was a Cooper’s Hawk.  Clearly it was waiting for Parker to come along.  I feel a little uneasy.

HAWK.jpg

New to the area:  a furry, four-legged predator.

This morning I had another predator on my mind, not one of the winged variety, but a specimen that walks on four legs.  As I neared the pavilion area, I shielded my eyes from the sun and looked up and down the trail for a furry and four-legged predator.

Here’s the backstory.

Saturday, after I walked at Council Point Park, I continued on my trek to the City of Wyandotte to take photos of the harvest and Halloween décor at the stately homes along Emmons Boulevard.  I was just past the City limits, enroute to my house, and knew I’d not be taking any more pictures, so I put the camera away.  That was a dumb move on my part, as a few minutes later I saw something large streaking by me out of the corner of my eye.  I turned to find a coyote running near the fence on the corner house at Emmons Boulevard and Electric Avenue.  I know I did a double take and my mouth was a large “O” and by the time I got the camera out of the case, turned on and focused on that coyote, it was a half-block away.  I managed to get one shot, albeit of his back and tail.

COYOTE

He ran over to the grounds of a large church a block away and disappeared into that neighborhood.

I didn’t run from that coyote, although I had no clue whether it would attack a human, and I did think he was pretty lean looking.  I went over to the church area but he was gone.  When I got online later that day, while uploading my photos, I Googled around to read up on coyotes, specifically if they would confront humans, and also, if squirrels were one of their food choices.  I learned coyotes shy away from humans, unless they are rabid, or if they are very hungry and there is a food source around a home and then they get a little braver and venture closer.  Sadly, squirrels are on the coyote’s menu.

I checked on our City’s crime site on Facebook to see if anyone reported seeing a coyote .  This crime forum encompasses many newsworthy items like traffic congestion/ accidents, broken water mains, missing pets, burglaries, and most recently, last week’s murder in our city.

Sure enough, several people reported seeing a coyote in Wyandotte (as you see in this photo I took from the Facebook crime site), then in Lincoln Park, right at Stewart and River Drive, at the site of Council Point Park.

FACEBOOK COYOTE1.jpg

Truly, there’s nowhere for a coyote to live at Council Point Park.  It has a woodsy feel with the trees and bushes that line the Ecorse Creek and run parallel to the walking path, but it is right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.  I can’t put a Google map photo here due to copyright issues, so have a look at this link here

The area of trees to the right of where it says “Council Point Park” are on the other side of the Ecorse Creek.  Thus, I don’t think a coyote would be inclined to make a home at this venue, but I’ll still be wary for myself and the squirrels.  This morning I walked along the perimeter path, glancing toward the water where I saw the heron standing on a log, near some ducks.  It was a peaceful and idyllic scene, and part of a nature nook highly unlikely to be home to hawks and coyotes … at least I hope so.  A fellow blogger told me the squirrels run faster than the coyotes – hopefully the squirrels don’t get too roly-poly and can only waddle.

HERON SELF

I paid for a Metropark pass to go to larger parks to check out “wild things” and just a mile from home, there was a coyote loping along without a care in the world.  I’ve only seen pictures of them in the past, and oh yes …  the cartoon character Wile E. Coyote.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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50 Responses to Predators at the Park.

  1. Oh my gosh a coyote! I swear you are an animal magnet….hahahaha

    Liked by 4 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ha ha – you are right Diane and him (her) I could live without, but he didn’t pay any attention to me, just running by me, like that was the most ordinary thing in the world to see a coyote running down a city street. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. AJ says:

    I see coyotes day on my way to school, along with deer and bears. I only fear running into the cougar, figure everything else isn’t much interested in me!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Fred Bailey says:

    Linda;

    Your final sentence blew my witty-to-be-quip about Wile Coyote heads for Detroit City. ah well. I do remember about watching a thing on Twisted Sifter about a Blue Heron that had learned to post by a gopher hole when it was meal time. He’d acquired a new taste. So… let’s hope coyote and heron don’t collaborate about your squirrel buddies.!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ha ha … You’d think I was a Big City Girl, but even here in a small city, seeing a coyote was something out of the ordinary. I did a double take for sure. I’ve only seen them on TV or watching cartoons – Beep Beep. How in the world does a Blue Heron devour a gopher? It’s a rough world out there and I fear for my little furry friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. susieshy45 says:

    Oh my God, a coyote !
    I hope Parker and others are safe. And I hope the wild church coyote is safe too and someone has not shot him.
    Susie

    Liked by 3 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – I hope they are safe too and so far, so good. It absolutely floored me to see that coyote run by. A fellow blogger who enjoys nature said the squirrels run too fast for coyotes to catch them. That made me feel better, although if Parker and his friends get much chubbier, they’ll not be zipping around like they do most of the year. I hope that someone catches him and they take him to a wildlife preserve or a large foresty area and let him loose there after feeding him a good meal or two.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sharonchyy says:

    Fantastic post and have a nice day!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. We have coyotes here too. One day I found one in my yard eyeing up my old cat Jake for lunch. I gave him the stinkeye and he moved on. Then I gave Jake a talking too. I saw the coyote a few times after that but not lately.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Wow – what a surprise to find one right near your house. Thankfully you got out there at the right time! In the northern suburbs, they are sprawling houses that have no fences and their backyards are often next to woodsy areas, so they get deer and coyotes.
      I have seen many stories of small dogs being mauled or hauled off by coyotes and people in those suburbs are advised to accompany their pets outside, especially at night. We’re not rural in the least, but there is so much construction going on and I realize they are tearing up their natural habitat, but I’d think coyotes would find a place where they could seek cover, not trotting down the street.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have never seen a coyote here but occasionally the nearest city will post sightings in the wintertime when they move in from the countryside looking for food. Since all your readers have now adopted Parker too we’re worried too about his safety!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      We do have coyotes in the northern suburbs Joan, but those are large houses with backyards which back up into wooded areas so those folks often see deer and coyotes out there. Several people have lost small dogs which were either mauled or hauled off by coyotes. After I saw the hawk at the Park swoop down on one of the squirrels just seconds after I was feeding it, I’ve been leery whenever I see them flying overhead. I could not believe this hawk was sitting on the street sign where I often feed Parker. It was just too coincidental that a large bird would sit at that location without intending some harm or looking for a meal. The coyote looked pretty hungry and when people reported he was at Council Point Park, there was more unease … I included the map to show it is not as dense as it sounds in my posts and hopefully that coyote cannot survive down there. A fellow blogger said the squirrels can run faster than the coyote so that gave me some hope that Parker and his pals would be okay. I like that everyone has adopted Parker as well – I am happy to share him and his antics and my interactions with him. He reminds me of a faithful pet.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I hope Parker and all his friends stay safe, and that the coyote finds a more suitable, none squirrelly place to live. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Me too Heather. I was mentioning the coyote to a fellow blogger who enjoys nature and he said the squirrels are too quick for a coyote … that made me feel better. Hopefully the squirrels don’t get too fat to run quickly. That coyote was pretty lean and lanky and looked like it needed a good meal. I have wanted to include that Google map for a while as I mention so often how this little nature nook is just plunked down in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Do you know that I have lived here for 52 years and only discovered Council Point Park five years ago? It is kind of embedded in the neighborhood.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is good to know, squirrels do run very fast (even tubby ones 🙂 ). How did you discover it 5 years ago? It just sounds such a magical place. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Hi Heather – The Park is named for an event that happened there a long time ago –
        now 255 years ago. I heard about the event and I thought “that can’t be far from me” so I Googled (now mind you this is a mile away, but not where I usually would go past) and it was to be a big celebration so I went down to investigate on the Friday morning, the first day of the three-day event. I had been walking only in the neighborhood before that time. I could not believe how big the Park was with birds, water, squirrels, ducks, geese … I have been going ever since. I wrote this post about it: https://lindaschaubblog.net/2013/04/26/whooping/

        Liked by 1 person

  9. WalkFrederick says:

    Coyotes look pretty scary! Hopefully he’ll find a better place to live. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Laurie says:

    I don’t think a coyote would typically confront a human. That’s a really good picture you got of the coyote. They are usually quite shy, and almost always look lean, even scrawny. Those Cooper’s hawks usually dine on other birds. I am sure she would take a squirrel if she could catch one, though. Tell Parker to keep his head down!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I should have clarified that I took the far away picture and I pulled the other picture off the Facebook crime site – I shall look at that now as I want to make sure I attributed it properly without using the person’s name.
      I cropped out the person who posted its name and their profile picture. It was a good up close shot, so I included it in the post, but I was quite surprised. Hopefully the predators stay at bay and I do tell Parker to watch his back every time I see him. 🙂

      Like

  11. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………………..that is a remarkable capture of a coyote in the Lincoln Park area………………………………It looks like a skinny dog to me if I was walking over there…………….and that cooper’s Hawk is so small………………………..I would have missed it

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      That coyote ran from the corner of Emmons and Electric where I was standing and into the Church of the Nazarene at Electric and New York and disappeared into the neighborhood behind the church. In the crime forum, there were several sightings and people took pictures – this was the best one. It looked skinny as a rake to me too.

      Like

  12. Bryan Fagan says:

    We have black birds out here in Western Oregon. They are far from bird brains. They travel in pairs. One on the lookout while the other grabs the food. The cats do not mess with them especially if they have a nest. They will remember you as well. Best to be nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      That’s interesting Bryan. Birds are savvier than most people think. I know from having canaries and parakeets most of my life and watching the habits of some of the birds at the Park. In the Spring and early Summer I had a few cardinals that would zoom down out of the trees to grab peanuts right from under the squirrels’ noses. I got some shots of them doing this and the squirrels had a look on their faces like “hey, what just happened here?” The coyote was back at Council Point Park. One of the walkers saw him yesterday running across the soccer field. I hope he settles in somewhere else soon. I have enough angst worrying about the hawks that circle overhead.

      Like

  13. You have such a beautiful magnetic draw for such a variety of animals. I can imagine any animal being at ease around you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We have coyotes around here and I love them. They typically leave humans alone but do keep the rabbit population down. I love furry bunnies, but they do a lot of damage. Unfortunately, some people have lost their cats and small dogs too. But, the way I look at it, we are trespassing in their habitat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It seems hard for me to believe I’d never seen one in “real life” and I understand the coyote was back at the Park yesterday after I left. I was talking to another walker today who usually stays at the Park longer than I do while walking. He said it was running through the Park yesterday. And, this coyote was no doubt a result of all the construction that they are doing in the area … they have nowhere else to go. We have a lot of rabbits here too and I understand they wreak havoc with people’s veggie gardens.

      Like

  15. Mackenzie says:

    Oh my ! The predators are out and about, aren’t they?! I have a slight fear of crows actually because there were these two that taunted me and would fly in front of my face and squawk at me as I ran. Still get nervous any time I run by them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      This is so unusual to have coyotes in the city and we are not rural in the least and no other neighboring cities are rural either. I see the hawks circling around overhead many times when I’m walking and I don’t like it. No coyote sightings in two days – whew! Crows are large and I see them at the Park sometimes too – such huge birds and I would not like either having them fly in front of my face either Mackenzie – very scary. I see red-winged blackbirds in the Park and they are not as large as crows but I watched them pecking on the geese, or trying to snatch eggs out of a robin’s nest several times. They are real feisty and territorial.

      Liked by 1 person

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  17. Ellie P. says:

    Hopefully Parker stays alert and safe – and can run real fast! I’d hate for anything bad to happen to your little furry friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Me too Ellie – I check the crime site on Facebook every day and there have been no sightings in Lincoln Park (reported on the crime site anyway) in at least 10 days. Whew! I was worried about Parker and his furry friends. The hawks overhead were bad enough!

      Liked by 1 person

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