Coyotes

Did you know?

  • The scientific name for Coyote is Canis latrans, which means barking dog.
  • Coyotes are usually not dangerous unless they are used to being fed by humans or eating dog or cat food left outside.
  • Coyotes can run more 40 miles per hour for short distances.
  • Coyotes walk with only their toes touching the ground.

Looks and sounds

Coyotes look like gray or reddish-gray, medium-sized dogs. They have a pointed nose and bushy tail. They have a keen sense of smell and their hearing is very sharp. Coyotes make many different sounds to express themselves. Besides the long howl, they also have sounds which include barks, "bark-howls" and "yip-howls."

Home sweet home

Coyotes aren't fussy about what they eat or where they live. They are willing to change their habits and diet depending on what is available. This allows them to survive in many different environments. Coyotes can be found across most of North America in a variety of habitats ranging from the hot desert, mountain forests to farm areas and even the suburbs of very large cities. Coyotes dig dens to use for resting and raising their young.

Family Life

A pair of Coyotes may live together for many years and share the responsibility of raising young ones. In some cases, a mother Coyote will raise her young alone. The pups emerge from their den in about two to three weeks. They will usually spend six to eight months with their family before finding their own territory. A few may stay nearby their den, while others may move up to 50 miles away.

Snack time

Coyotes are omnivorous. This means they will eat both plants and animals. They are very good at catching mice, rats, rabbits and squirrels. Their keen sense of smell helps them locate prey. Coyotes will also eat fruit, vegetables, bugs, frogs, birdseed and even garbage. This is why it is very important not to leave any human or pet food outside in your yard.

Coyotes at PAWS

Coyote pups usually arrive at PAWS after their mother has been hit by a car. If the mother survives, but is injured, wildlife experts at PAWS care for both the adult and young Coyotes until they are strong and healthy enough to be released back into the wild.

Need help?

If your family is having a conflict with Coyotes, or you find a Coyote you think is injured or orphaned, you can get free help by calling the PAWS Wildlife Center at 425.412.4040. Be sure to also check out these solutions to common problems with wildlife.

Want to know more?

Learn more about wildlife.