It’s not unusual for suburban residents to report sightings of coyotes, and Tinley Park is no different. Coyotes appear content to share their habitat with humans. However, some humans have very real concerns about Coyotes, concerns which the following information addresses.
Coyotes’ diet consists mainly of mice, rabbits and other small mammals. Here in Tinley Park, Coyotes find food sources plentiful due to the nearby forest preserves as well as society’s habits, including unsecured garbage receptacles, bird feeders, free-roaming cats and dogs, and all of the other various ways that humans unintentionally provide food sources for Coyotes and other wildlife.
Coyotes quickly adapted to the encroachment on their natural habitat by humans, yet many humans are bothered by their presence. Research shows that coyotes adjust their behaviors around human activities. Thus, they are sighted more in the wee hours of the morning and late at night. However, they do come out in the daylight, and this is considered normal behavior – not a cause for alarm.
Research shows that trapping and removing one or two unwanted coyotes only opens up more territory for another group of coyotes. This also disrupts the family unit, causing orphaned coyotes to seek easy prey, such as our pet dogs and cats.
Here are some suggestions to help Tinley Park residents coexist with Coyotes, which are very important to the Village’s eco-system:
- Secure garbage. Small animals and coyotes will feed on garbage.
- Fruit trees attract small mammals which, in turn, attract coyotes. Pick up fallen fruit as soon as possible.
- Bird feeders should be filled sparingly so as not to litter the ground with seed, which attracts mice and coyotes.
- Clean barbeque grills after use, as the tasty tidbits left inside can attract wildlife and draw coyotes.
- Close off crawl spaces, decks and sheds, which can attract small animals seeking shelter, which in turn will attract coyotes.
- Always supervise pets when they are outside, and keep them on proper restraints.
Those who happen upon a coyote while out walking should keep the following in mind:
- Don’t run or turn away. Instead, make noise. This shows the coyote that you are a threat and not a friend.
- Carry an air horn or pop can with coins and sound off several times to warn of your approach. This way, there are no surprises.
- Try not to walk in the early morning hours or late at night. This is when the most coyote activity is reported, and you will have less of a chance of encountering one if you avoid their peak activity times.