Tag Archive: New York


NYC Lens, April 29th, 2015

FULL TEXT:

Coyotes are popping up across the city–on a roof, behind a bush and sitting doe-eyed in a crate after being captured by the New York City Police Department. Their presence might seem unusual to city residents, but the coyotes are just a local chapter of a country-wide trend of urban coyotes.

In the past decade, as human development encroaches on the natural habitat of coyotes, many of the animals have moved into urban areas. Another factor: Their natural predator, the gray wolf, has become an endangered species in the last three years, allowing the coyote population to expand its borders. Scientists call this natural range expansion.

“We have to accept the fact that natural range expansion is part of the ecology of wildlife globally,” Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote, said. “Natural range expansion is exactly what’s happening, and some of this is in response to alteration of habitat.”

Project Coyote is a California-based organization that seeks to destigmatize coyotes. The group promotes peaceful coexistence with coyotes through conversations with wildlife scientists, ranchers, educators and community leaders. The organization provides several resources to help the public better understand and interact with coyotes.

In New York state alone, there are 14,500 breeding pairs of coyotes. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, coyotes began moving into the state in the 1930s. Instead of living in packs, like some of their West coast relatives, eastern coyotes tend to live in pairs. All coyotes mate for life.

One common misconception Project Coyote hopes to dispel is that coyotes are dangerous.

“Your chances of being bitten or attacked by a coyote are incredibly low,” she said.

Though there is not a centralized way to keep track of coyote attacks, Fox said that anecdotally, there are relatively few coyote attacks on humans compared to dog bites, which average about 1,000 per day.

Urban coyotes have inspired creative initiatives like the Urban Coyote Project, a collaboration between three journalists–Jaymi Heimbuch, Morgan Heim and Karine Aigner–with an affinity for canines. Each based in a different city, the journalists learn the habits of local urban coyotes and photograph them, posting photo galleries along with information from wildlife scientists to help spread correct information about coyotes.

“When we understand more, we can coexist easier and fear less,” Heimbuch, founder of the project, said.

Heimbuch and her colleagues were inspired by how adaptive and cunning species is. She hopes to expand their project to include both a film and a book.

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation recommends several tips for “coexisting with coyotes” based on Project Coyote’s guidelines. Residents are encouraged not to feed the animals so they do not become accustomed to humans, safely store food and garbage in animal-proof receptacles, keep dogs leashed while outside, keep cats indoors, and scare off coyotes if a coyote approaches you in a park or a neighborhood.

Project Coyote also recommends “hazing” the coyotes by making yourself appear large and loud by shouting, waving your arms and flashing lights until the coyote retreats. If residents come across a coyote who is not responding to this or if someone is bitten or hurt, call 9-1-1.

The final recommendation from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is to appreciate the animals from a distance.

“They have shown to be incredibly resilient and able to coexist with us and tolerate human disturbance,” Fox said. “We haven’t shown that kind of tolerance for the species.”

There are more people bitten by dogs than coyotes. Don’t you think this might be because dogs live with people and coyotes don’t?

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While scrolling through my twitter feed I came across the following tweet.

Even though I grew up in the South I have been living in New York for almost all of my adult life, I was sure I would be familiar with most of these foods. As this list demonstrates New York and New England have some major differences at least food wise. A few of these I have eaten, some I have known of for years, some friends have talked about but most had me scratching my head and saying: “What the ….”

The link in the tweet takes you an article with only 9 of them, the following link is for the original article with all 22 items.

22 Things You’ve Definitely Eaten If You Grew Up In New England

After saying “What I missed not growing up in New England!” @eladyland said, Florida probably has a list too; hmmm no, not really. After giving it serious consideration, I could only come up with two, and one of those is southern not Florida specific. Biscuits and gravy, and strawberry shortcake.

The strawberry shortcake I am talking about it the kind you get at the Strawberry festival in Plant City. Where you get a plate with a biscuit on it, a huge biscuit, split in half, then you walk along a table with a bowl of strawberries and a bowl of whipped cream and pile them on.

Biscuits and gravy is not a Florida food. I don’t even know if you can get it there. The gravy is sausage gravy, basically a white sauce with sausage in it. The sausage is cooked before adding to the gravy so its not real greasy, but you can still feel it sticking to your arteries when you eat it. The biscuits are huge, as big as my brother’s hand. You can’t get it here in NYC, it used to be available at Denny’s or Perkins but no more. Even when they had it the biscuits were small.

Whenever I go visit my parents I make them take me to every restaurant in driving distance that serves biscuits and gravy. I just love it.

Those are the foods I remember from my childhood. Everything else, is pretty much what everybody had as a child.