Coyote Damage

– Perry Orndorff, Wildlife Specialist, Fairfield SWCD

Ohio has ideal coyote habitat, with a mixture of woodlots and cropland. Contrary to what some would have you believe, the Ohio Division of Wildlife did not “stock” coyotes. They naturally migrated east from the Plains States. Coyotes are now found in most states and in all 88 Ohio counties. Coyotes usually weigh from 20 to 50 pounds and are usually easy to identify, even from a distance. When running, their gait looks more like a horse than a dog. They also rarely hold their bushy tail up in the air while on the run. If you are looking at a track, their paw bears most of their weight on their front two toes, the claws usually aren’t visible in the snow or mud. Continue reading

Black Vultures, Ohio’s Growing Predator Concern

Perry Orndorff, Wildlife Specialist, Fairfield SWCD

In recent years, Ohio’s livestock producers are becoming increasingly concerned with predation by black vultures. The black vulture is a separate species from the turkey vulture, which is more recognizable because of its prominent red head. Black vultures appear smaller than turkey vultures and have black heads and shorter wings. The undersides of their wings have white tips which are visible while in flight. Black vultures are at the northern edge of their range here in Ohio, and their range within the state appears to be spreading. They have been found as far north as Coshocton County. Rather than feeding only on carrion, black vultures are an aggressive bird and will kill other animals for food. Black vultures have been reported killing and injuring piglets, lambs, and more rarely, calves and cows giving birth. If you see black vultures on or near your farm, keep a close eye on where they are roosting, especially at dawn and dusk. Continue reading