Coyotes in Southborough: Do they make you nervous?

by susan on August 14, 2012

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Above: My Southborough reader Eric snapped this photo of a coyote lounging in his yard last week (contributed photo)

Deer are a common sight in Southborough. So are wild turkeys. We’ve even had a black bear. But this summer, the wildlife everyone seems to be talking about is coyotes.

Reports of coyote sightings have been a fixture in the Southborough police logs since early this spring, and many of you have told me you’ve spotted coyotes in your yards and neighborhoods in recent months.

MassWildlife says on its website that coyotes are well-established in suburban and urban areas of our state, but are by nature afraid of people. “Their presence alone is not a cause for concern,” the site says.

While living in close proximity to coyotes may make some of you uncomfortable, the laws and regulations dictating how and when the animals can be removed are strict. “A coyote may not be removed simply because of its presence in an area, there must be damage or a threat to human safety by a specific animal,” says MassWildlife.

There are things you can do to make your property less attractive to coyote, says the state agency, including securing your garbage, feeding your pets inside, cutting back brush along the edges of your yard, and closing off crawl spaces under porches and sheds where coyote like to rest and even raise their young.

MassWildlife also advises against feeding and trying to pet coyotes (duh). If you see a coyote in your yard, MassWildlife suggests shouting, throwing tennis balls, or spraying it with water to let the coyote know it’s not welcome.

So, what do you think about coyote in Southborough? Have you noticed more this year than in the past? Do they make you uncomfortable? Or with their diet of rodents and other pests, are you glad to have them around? Share your thoughts in the comments.

{ 4 comments }

1 KT October 31, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Don’t know if people will see this comment on this old post but I just saw the coyote today in my backyard on Parkerville North. It looked bigger than my 85lb Berner who was barking like mad at it, though the internet says that it’s probably half her weight. The barking didn’t phase the coyote at all, but it moved on when I came out with a shovel. Anyway, I just wanted to remind people to be safe with their littler pets because (s)he’s definitely still around.

2 Resident October 31, 2012 at 4:38 PM

KY, you write as though there is only one coyote roaming around town, when in fact there is a significant population of coyotes in our area. In winter we have had tracks from packs as large as 7 in our yard bordering our woods. One winter, a pack killed a fawn at the edge of our woods. We may not sight them very often, but they are here. I have been seeing foxes more frequently too.

3 KT November 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Thanks for the note. I have had almost 10 sightings since the spring and each time it has been just one. I guess it puts my mind at ease to think there is only one. We had some baby fox sightings in the spring, then a couple coyote sightings and haven’t seen any foxes since. There was also some noise in the middle of the night a couple weeks back and a whole load of turkey feathers in the yard in the morning.

4 Resident November 1, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Guess the coyotes had an early Thanksgiving dinner! LOL!!! Fisher cats are around and pretty nasty to the poultry too.

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