POLL: Are More Coyotes Coming Into Downtown Geneva?

Have you spotted more than the usual number of coyotes in residential areas this year?

Frequent Patch contributor asked me a not-so-rhetorical question Sunday at the .

"Have you heard more reports lately about coyotes in downtown Geneva?" he asked.

I hadn't, I said. At least I hadn't seen any in the reports or heard anything on the scanner. Once in awhile, of course, people will report to Tri-Com that a coyote is near their home. A few times, someone has spotted one close to a school.

We live across from so it's not all that unusual for us to spy a coyote in the "back 40" detention area between Good Templar and Moore Park. And of course, see foxes and other wildlife all the time on our multiple daily walks between here and the river.

Maybe some of those foxes actually are coyotes. I would have sworn the animal in Colin's photos, attached here, was a fox, but he assures me it was a coyote—on Sixth Street in downtown Geneva, no less.

It wasn't the first he's seen in downtown Geneva, either.

"In the 10 years we have been here, we have had one coyote sighting, until this year," he said in a followup e-mail. "In the last month, we have had four."

The most recent spotting was June 2.

"Then about two weeks ago, we saw one at Fifth and Franklin on our way to the French market, and when we mentioned it to a vendor he told us he had seen one a few minutes ago with a rabbit in it's mouth. Two separate animals, I think.

"Are others seeing more coyotes in downtown Geneva?" he added. "I'm curious to know."

So am I.

Please take the following Patch poll, and if you spot a coyote anywhere in the city limits, add a comment to this article with the date, time and location. If you've got a photo, attach it here, too.

Maybe together we can track this intruders, no matter how wily they might be.

Erica Conterato June 07, 2012 at 12:52 PM
That doesn't look like a coyote...that looks like a fox. They are all over around Kaneville and James Street in Geneva.
Fozzie Dabear June 07, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I see coyote several times a month, although not downtown. They are actually quite common although they don't much take to humans. Well neither do I! Wakka wakka wakka! As far as I know they are solitary foragorers and rarely go after anything much bigger than a squirrel.
Frank June 07, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Agreed, that appears to be a fox. Beautiful animals. Coyotes tend to be more gangly and feral-looking
Debbie Hanson June 07, 2012 at 01:16 PM
My 24-yr old daughter picked up a friend at the train station this past Saturday morning. While she was waiting she thought she was seeing a fox due to the color but she got a thorough look as she was sitting in her car. She said this was definitely not a fox but a coyote. Animal was not afraid and just walking between the cars.
Jen Marsh June 07, 2012 at 01:24 PM
that's a Fox...Fabulous Mr. Fox!
Jen Marsh June 07, 2012 at 01:25 PM
I saw one of these run through my yard, last fall...it IS a fox!
Colin C. June 07, 2012 at 01:29 PM
I'm the one who originally posed the question to Rick. We live on Sixth St. about 200 Ft. from State; pretty much right downtown. We have a fenced yard and have two sightings in our back yard in the last month. The other two were at Fifth and Fulton and the French Market. We have also puzzled over whether this is a fox or coyote. I went online and searched "photos of" both animals and am pretty sure that it is a coyote. I wondered about hybrid but several web sites say they don't crossbreed. I am certainly open to correction by someone who knows for sure. The last time I saw one in my backyard I went steaming out the back door, waving my arms and screaming at the top of my lungs.The coyote pretty much ignored me. As I got closer he walked to the top of our waterfall, looked back at me as though he thought that I was somewhat demented, hopped over the fence, and walked off slowly toward Mel's Diner. Perhaps for breakfast. He was not intimidated in the slightest by me. But then very few are. Nevertheless, it's a blow to the ego. All the same, we have stopped letting our cat out, much to his displeasure.
Paul Descoteaux June 07, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Hey Colin, Your photo is of a fox, NOT a coyote and its coloration looks the same as the one we have lived with, here in the historic district, since last fall at a minimum. It walks thru or property on South and 7th almost every day. Our cat chases it. They have been here long before you and I, hence the "Fox Valley" or "Fox River". You may have noticed a reduction of rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks lately, all thanks to the Fox. Your "arms waving" comment was what we noticed about this guy also, he/she is not phased by our presence. Geneva's downtown is a great place for dining out, both for man and beast.
Colin C. June 07, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Hi Paul, As I said, I'm no expert but take a look at some online photos. Foxes are much smaller, bushy tail, more "red". The coyotes seem to have a wider variation of color (grey, tan, brown, reddish), shorter hair, scrawnier, taller and more lanky. The second and third ones I say were much more plain tan/brown than the one that I photographed; bigger too. I'm not objecting to their being here. Actually, having grown up in the backwoods of Missouri, I enjoy it. I'm just curious if their presence in the downtown is increasing. Maybe they have eaten all the "foo-foo dogs" in the outlying developments? Perhaps they are just after some dumb city bunnies? Just curious.
Sandy Olsen June 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM
definately a fox. I'm in Mill Creek and we see and hear coytoes fairly often. This guy in the pic is most definatley a fox. As someone mentioned, coyotes are ganglier. I saw one a couple of weeks ago in front of Josef's. had my camera and got a few pics.
Dan O'Malley June 07, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I just put up a couple of photos of coyotes out in Mill Creek...we see these two fairly often. They were very bold in early spring. We hear them almost every night. Keep your eyes on your pets, these guys are always around.
G.Ryan June 07, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Yes, Mr.Nagel and Colin that pic is of a fox. A few years ago a fox was crossing Main Street in downtown St. Charles as I was driving west he scampered into the middle of the road, identified my car, and stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of the road. Of course, I offered him the necessary car courtesy and he stared at me almost like he was thanking me that I stopped for him while he developed his own FOX crossing walkway. He went on his merry fox way heading south towards the river. I have also seen them walking the sidewalks of a subdivision in St. Charles in broad daylight. Out in the Peck Farm area, I hear the coyotes every other night howling but never have spotted one in the subdivision. They usually come out after sundown and they cruise their territories at night. They resemble a mangy dog or similar to a small german shepherd. But I have spotted them in open fields during the day. I thought they were more nocturnal. What I have problems with are the aggressive hawks and owls in the area. They will kill at a whim. Yes, they are admiral hunters.
Cindy Peterson June 07, 2012 at 03:27 PM
I agree that the picture is a fox. I've seen both foxes and coyotes in the "back 40" detention between Good Templar Park and Moore Park that Rick refers to in his article. You can also hear the red foxes quite often at night if you know what to listen for. I heard one in the "back 40" last summer and wondered what it was. I went out into the field with a flashlight and discovered the fox. Then I went on to YourTube and found video of the red fox "barking": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk1mAd77Hr4 Now that I know the sound, I hear it pretty often at night. I pointed it out to my husband the other night and it took me a while to convince him it wasn't just some obnoxious teenagers.
Noel G. Rooks June 07, 2012 at 03:35 PM
The first 2 pictures are a red fox. The coyotes always look like an unkempt dog. We live on the western edge and see and hear them quite often. They cross through my backyard, and through the bike path in my neighborhood. I've seen them on my driveway and walking down my street. I'm not sure if they are becoming more common in downtown Geneva, I saw one once near the Mill Race Inn. I used to live across from a forest preserve, and encountered all sorts of wildlife - deer, possum, raccoon, foxes - but never a coyote til I moved to Kane County.
Noel G. Rooks June 07, 2012 at 03:42 PM
This is what us west sider hear all the time. :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uY6jcLzeAs&feature=watch_response
G.Ryan June 07, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Cindy, I wonder if that's a mating call when they make that noise. I know the raccoons make a noise that sounds like a baby. Interesting how nature is and how they all have their purpose as God's creatures. But beware of the coyotes as they do attack small dogs and so will the aggressive hawks if given the opportunity.
stephanie bedee June 07, 2012 at 04:21 PM
We saw a fox outside Cotto A Legna in April. I suppose they don't call it the Fox Valley for nothing! :). We live downtown Geneva - any recommendations if we happen upon one? Other than snapping a picture. As in, are they dangerous to humans that do not have a pet with them?
stephanie bedee June 07, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I did see two coyotes while waiting in a doctor office in St Charles near Kirk and 64. There is a daycare and school both within 100 yds of that particular siting.
Anthony June 07, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I've actual have seen less coyotes and more fox the past few months.
Noel G. Rooks June 07, 2012 at 04:47 PM
The foxes won't do anything to you unless you somehow confront or corner them. Like most other wildlife, they pretty much want you to leave them be.
Colin C. June 07, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Rick Nagel, Would it be possible for you to post the internet photos of the fox and the coyote that I sent you the other day? Thanks, Colin
Rick Nagel (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Now that's a coyote! Thanks you, Dan O'Malley, for posting those photos!
Sandy Klimowski June 07, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Also live near the "back 40", but we actually back up to the bike path. My husband's early walks ( 5 a.m.) with the dogs have encountered many sightings of coyote. One morning, the coyote was on the path and my family in the alley. The coyote was very curious of them and actually walked parallel to them when they moved down the alley. We also have a fountain near the back door and we have seen one come to drink - again early morning. No fox there, but one has been seen on The State Bank of Geneva property from time to time.
Rick Nagel (Editor) June 07, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Maybe the issue is that the fox population is up this year—and they're going boldly into developed areas. Anyone know an expert I could call? I think Kane County Animal Control is in transition right now.
Noel G. Rooks June 08, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Rick - IDNR?
Sandy Klimowski June 08, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Colin, I just spent the last several minutes watching the fox saunter down James Street from the courthouse, around the building at 5th and James and then through The State Bank of Geneva parking lot before I lost sight of him. He is a beautiful animal and I'm glad I had the opportunity to see him that closely.
Colin C. June 08, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Sandy, I take it that was around 9-9:30? Darn, I was walking east on James about 9:45 and missed it entirely. However, maybe that's why my resident ducks left early this morning.
Sandy Klimowski June 08, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Colin, it was actually much earlier - 7:40 a.m. I was headed into work and the guy in the truck who was whistling at me was just doing it to catch my attention and point out the fox.
Colin C. June 08, 2012 at 06:23 PM
I just uploaded photos of a fox and a coyote from the internet. I stand corrected. What I originally saw does resemble a fox more than a coyote. It had shorter hair, not as fluffy, seemed taller than the fox in the internet photo but the general size and coloring are much closer to fox than coyote. BTW, several years ago a number of people west of the Tri-Cities were complaining about the presence of foxes/coyotes and the danger to their pets. At the same time we were experiencing a severe drought and the increased water usage west of town was lowering the water table, forcing some to drill deeper wells at great expense. I suggested that we could solve both problems by reintroducing grizzly bears to the area. That would reduce the coyote/fox population as well as water usage (think about going out to water the lawn with bears around? Better to stay in watching Animal Planet on TV and let the grass die!). Of course, as usual, no one did anything.
edn June 10, 2012 at 01:47 PM
There seems to be pictures of both fox & coyote. Fox are prettier animals more reddish brown in color with thinner legs & bushy tail. The coyotes west of Randall at least are scruffy looking. There is one which is much larger than the rest. Not sure if it is female or not. I pick up their scat weekly while mowing our lawn. I have no doubt the large rabbit population in our neighborhood attracts them and am amazed that many of my neighbors still leave their small dogs out with the electric fences. I have seen a coyote easily hop over my neighbors’ 5’ fence with a bunny in its mouth! They are spotted boldly during all hours of the day!


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