Coyote Behavior

All About Coyote Behavior

Coyote behavior can be a difficult thing to learn about because these animals are so elusive. They are nocturnal, which means that they only come out to hunt and thrive during the evening hours. Coyotes are afraid of humans and this makes them even harder to observe and it is said that there are many more wolves than coyotes because of this reason. Wolves can easily adapt to their habitats being moved or destroyed by humans but coyotes do everything in their power to avoid humans. But the coyote behavior and they way the animals react to each other does not change.

Coyotes inhabit most of the United States, Canada and Central America. They are a bit smaller than a medium sized dog and they have characteristics that set them apart from wolves and dogs. Their fur is a gray to tan color and they have bushy tails. They have large triangle shaped ears and a narrow, longer nose. A coyote has yellow eyes and a black nose and there is a way to quickly tell them apart from wolves or dogs. When a coyote runs, it runs with the tail in a downward position. A wolf for example, runs with the tail straight out and a dog runs with the tail held high.

The coyote is carnivorous which means that his diet is made up of mammals. But occasionally, it will also eat certain types of birds and snakes. Coyotes prefer to eat an animal right after it is killed but it is part of coyote behavior to also eat dead animals. This all depends on the food sources that are available to the coyote. During the winter months when food is scarce, this animal has been known to live on berries, nuts and vegetables. Another example of coyote behavior would be, hunting in packs. While hunting larger prey, coyotes will form a group and take turns chasing the prey until it tires. When this happens the entire pack will kill them animal. If the coyote is hunting smaller animals, it will stand with the legs stiff, waiting to pounce on the animal. Single coyote hunters also like burrowing animals that live inside of the ground. The coyote will wait for the small creatures to exit from the hole and pounce on the animal.

One of the best times to observe coyote behavior is during mating season. This occurs every year starting in February and ending in April. During this time, it isn’t unusual for someone to see a male coyote in the middle of a field or in the forest. They also are known to come out in the daytime while they are pursuing a mate. When coyotes find a mate, they normally will live together for many years to come. Approximately 2 months after the female conceives, she gives birth to around 6 pups. They will not leave the den area until they are four weeks old and they nurse on the mother until they are a month old. After the nursing period, the mother will eat food and regurgitate it into their mouths for nourishment. When the pups are born they are completely blind and have big floppy ears and they finally leave both parents at around 6 months of age.

A coyote uses sounds and signals to communicate with other members of the pack. They howl, yip and whine and this can be for a number of reasons. They can be warning other members of danger or to call to their puppies. They can woo a female with whining and most of the time, these sounds are the only proof that coyotes live nearby.