Northern California February 13, 2020
Caused By A Genetic Mutation, Rare Blue-Eyed Coyotes Have Only Been Spotted In Northern California
Coyote sightings are definitely not a rarity here in the Golden State, but there’s a certain blue-eyed coyote that’s ONLY been spotted a handful of times. Oh, and it’s only been sighted here in Northern California. The appearance of this rare “mutant” coyote has baffled scientists, and they expect that blue-eyed coyotes are truly “one in a million.” So far, only a handful of these rare coyote sightings have been documented, but keep your eye out the next time you’re in coyote territory and you may just spot one.
Photographers and California residents first started to spot the strange blue-eyed coyotes in 2018. Since then, more coyotes with bright blue eyes have been spotted in various regions of Northern California, and their appearance has experts completely puzzled.
The first blue-eyed coyote was spotted at Point Reyes National Seashore by photographer Daniel Dietrich. The photographer immediately showed his images to biologists. They were completely perplexed by the coyote's light-colored eyes since almost all coyotes have prominent golden-brown eyes.
Since then, five other blue-eyed coyotes have been spotted right here in NorCal. Two of them were also found in Point Reyes, and the others were located near Santa Cruz and Sacramento. All in all, all of these coyotes were found within a 100-mile perimeter of each other.
The appearance of these coyotes has certainly brought to life some interesting theories by scientists. Some even considered the possibility that these blue-eyed coyotes were hybrid "coydogs". However, this theory was ultimately thrown out due to the fact that the coyotes didn't appear to have any other differences from typical coyotes.
There simply hasn't been enough research for scientists to confidently conclude what's caused the appearance of the blue-eyed coyotes. However, most biologists agree that the blue eyes are likely the result of a rare but completely natural genetic mutation—and the mutation is becoming more common.
Although the blue eyes make for a striking expression on any coyote, they could also give their owner a significant disadvantage when it comes to survival. After all, the majority of coyotes boast golden-brown eyes which allow them to camouflage into their surroundings. Bright blue eyes aren't exactly low-profile when it comes to hunting for food or hiding from predators.
Although we possibly won't know much about these blue-eyed coyotes for many years, it's fascinating to think that only Northern California is home to these rare "mutants." The next time you visit the Point Reyes National Seashore, be sure to keep an eye out for these blue beauties!
Can you think of any other types of wildlife that are unique to Northern California? Let us know in the comments! For another breathtaking wildlife experience in our region, check out
The Magical Place In Northern California Where You Can View A Wild Elk Herd.