Suburban Howls: Tracking the Eastern Coyote in Suburban Massachusetts is a documentation of research on coyotes done by Jon Way while he was at Boston College and earning a PhD. He tells anecdotes about coyotes he caught during the multi-year study of coyotes in Boston and its surrounding suburbs as well as Cape Cod; and he tells anecdotes about the frustrations of working in an urban area. While it’s fascinating to learn about the life histories of the animals he studies, it’s equally heartbreaking to learn about their deaths at the hands of hunters, drivers of cars, and in one rare case a poisoner.
Way’s writing is at times detached, in the way you might expect a wildlife biologist to discuss their animal subjects. But these moments are few and far between. The bulk of the book is emotionally charged. It’s a rare look into the inner mind and emotions of a scientist going about his research. He’s not shy at disclosing snags he hit with the Massachusetts state wildlife agency and a zoo he was initially partnering with. Continue reading