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Ode to the Urban Coyote

Posted Apr 26th, 2023 in Guest Blog

Coyote in the grass

It’s almost baffling when you realize that coyotes live, mostly unseen, in a city like Toronto. Inhabiting a space between “urban” and “wild.” Going about their lives while we’re going about ours.

In Canada’s largest city, our presence impacts nearly every aspect of their lives. The way they hunt. The way they move. Where they den. How they raise their young. Our hobbies, cars, pets, parks, roads, and homes have daily implications on how urban coyotes make their way through the world.

And even as they live their wild lives all around us, we rarely notice their presence. They move between and among us, so deliberately, like they always know exactly where they’re going (even if their surroundings keep changing week by week, month by month, in the name of progress). They are so resilient, adapting to environments as rugged as the Canadian Rockies, and as metropolitan as the country’s largest cities. 

Even as the line between our habitat and theirs continues to blur, we rarely see them when we’re out walking our dogs, coming home after a night out, spending an afternoon in the park, or lacing up our hiking boots to hit a trail.

When we do share a moment with a coyote, it’s usually fleeting. We get a mere glimpse into their secret lives, their intricate social structures, and the ways they communicate before they’re gone again. At most, we might get a quick, curious glance in our direction, before the coyote quietly disappears — somehow vanishes back into a bustling city before our very eyes.

Every time this happens, I am left in awe. Every time I leave my high-rise apartment  — passing hundreds of people, cars, roadways, and buildings — and my path momentarily crosses with a coyote’s, it’s memorable. The day feels more special. It’s an incredible reminder of just how wild our city actually is.

About Our Guest Contributor: Cari Siebrits is a wildlife photographer and writer, passionate about promoting peaceful coexistence between humans and our wild neighbours.  Driven by a deep enthusiasm for ethical photography and compelling storytelling, she’s an advocate for conservation and public education, climate action, and social justice. Through her images and writing, she hopes to share intimate moments in nature that connect her community with our wild neighbours in new ways.  Although she has yet to meet an animal she doesn’t like, she’s most excited about Canada’s megafauna, with her goals usually centering around photographing North America’s bears, cats, and canids. When she’s not out taking photos, you’ll probably find her daydreaming about her next trip or hiking with her dog Lando.

Photo copyright Cari Siebrits of an Ontario Eastern Coyote (Canis latrans, Canis latrans var., Canis latrans x lycaon)

Handles: Instagram: @wildlifewithcari    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildlifewithcari/


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