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Coyote
  • A relative of the domestic dog, the coyote runs at a rate of 25 to 30 mph and can even go as fast as 40 mph for short distances. It also can jump up to 14 feet high.
  • The coyote is carnivorous and a scavenger. When hunting for food, the coyote may join with one or two others to take turns chasing the prey or to lie in wait while the others flush the prey. It also will hunt by itself. Like a pointer, this animal will stalk its prey and then freeze before pouncing. If prey enters the water, the coyote will swim after it.
  • This predator is grizzled gray or orange-colored on top and light-colored below. It looks like a dog with long legs, prominent ears, and a pointed snout. Unlike the dog, the coyote keeps its black-tipped, bushy tail down and between its legs while it is running.
  • The western coyote, which averages 20 to 35 pounds, typically weighs less than the eastern coyote, which averages 30 to 38 pounds.
  • Coyotes do not have permanent dens but do have a den for nesting. This is usually a large underground area at the end of a 5- to 30-foot long tunnel with a large entrance. The female will prepare the den by digging it herself, enlarging a den made by a fox or badger, or nesting in a log, cave, crevice, or culvert. She also will move her pups to another location if her den is disturbed.
  • Born brown all over, the pups open their eyes when they are 9 to 14 days old.
  • The coyote's call starts with barks and yelps, continues with a long howl, and ends with yaps. To defend its food or den, the coyote barks.
Coyote map
Coyote Range
Coyote tracks
Coyote Range

Coyote Facts

  • Mating: monogamous.
  • Breeding period: February to April.
  • Gestation period: 60 to 63 days.
  • Birth period: April to May.
  • Litters per year: 1.
  • Number of young: 1 to 19 per litter; average 3 to 6.
  • Age females can breed: 1 year.
  • Adult weight: 20 to 40 pounds.
  • Life expectancy: 6 to 8 years.
  • Feeding time: primarily nocturnal.
  • Movement: 2 to 20 square miles but may travel up to 400 miles.
  • Typical foods: rabbits, mice, ground squirrels, pocket gophers, birds, toads, snakes, insects, fruit, and carrion from deer (in winter).