I See the Central Park Coyote: Joy!

Yesterday I managed to get down just after sunset to the Pond at the southeastern end of Central Park to watch for the coyote. Photographer Bruce Yolton was already on the bridge with his big camera set up.  He said the coyote had been out on the ice about ten minutes before, but had left. We waited.

I walked a slow loop around the Hallett Nature Center and the pond, staring into the dusk, hoping to see the coyote on the other side. No luck. I rejoined Bruce on the bridge, and we waited some more in the gathering dark.

Two pitch-black shapes flew past us, low and swift. “Ducks,” Bruce said. They joined their tribe in the water under the bridge.

And then I caught a slim shape moving along the little spit of land that juts out onto the ice. The coyote!

Photo by D. Bruce Yolton/UrbanHawks.com

It disappeared around the far side, so we moved around the path after it. We were able to watch it for quite a while. It came out onto the ice many times, trotting and occasionally breaking into a lope. Its trot is remarkably quick and its movements efficient. Once it made a grand, pouncing leap from the bank back to the ice.

Wary and shy, it slipped back into the sanctuary at the sound of loud voices. It seemed to be trying to find a quiet space through which it could move on out of its Hallett-Pond territory, but was constantly deterred by people walking their dogs, loud ice skating music on the nearby rink and other evening park activity.

How different it must be in the wee hours of the night, when the park is empty of humans and dogs, and the coyote has free run. I’d like to see that.

See more photos and a short video of last night’s coyote sighting at Urban Hawks.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2010, coyotes, In the City, March, strange encounters, Wildlife/Natural History

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9 Comments on “I See the Central Park Coyote: Joy!”

  1. Buddy Says:

    Lovely post, lovely photo. Let’s hope humans leave Mr. Coyote in peace. Sounds as though a trip to the pond on a full moon night would be magical.

  2. Charlotte Says:

    Did you see the latest New York Magazine (March 8), pg. 14, about the coyote in Central Park. Robert Sullivan writes about your guy from Urban Hawks, quotes him too; nice piece but they could’ve used yours just the same….

    • Melissa Says:

      Yes, good for Bruce! He has been out at Hallett most nights, watching and waiting and often … spotting. There’s no doubt in my mind that he has seen the coyote more than anyone else here on Hawk Island.

  3. Matthew Says:

    Cool, very cool. Nice spying (and I say that nicely). Hanging out in Hallet it’s probably nipping over to the Plaza for a nightcap. That is, if that condo-fied old pile still has a bar.

    • Melissa Says:

      Thanks, Matthew. I’ll have to check out the Plaza, and find out if a gnarly coyote spotter can even get past the doorman. It is strange to watch a coyote with the Pierre & Plaza as background. Hope to go down again tonight or tomorrow.

  4. Joy Says:

    Yea!!! I’m so glad you got to see him!

  5. Charlotte Says:

    Beautiful post, must have been an absolutely eerie/inspired sight.

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