Wild Profile: Meet the coyote

Updated: March 11, 2019

By critterbiz/Shutterstock

They’re smaller, slimmer, and speedier than wolves—and one of the wild canines that you’re most likely to spot at dusk and dawn, travelling across roads or open fields. Can’t tell a coyote from a wolf? Hint: Wolves hold their tails out straight as they run; coyotes point their tails down.

Coyotes are highly adaptable. They’ll hunt deer and moose when it’s convenient, and they do have swiftness and agility on their side: with a top running speed of almost 65 km/h, coyotes are faster than white-tailed deer, snowshoe hares, and wolves.

That said, they aren’t picky—they’ll eat almost anything they can catch or find, including rodents, rabbits, and groundhogs; berries and insects; snakes; and small farm animals. They’ll also scavenge dead livestock or other carrion.

A female coyote can mate when she’s as young as 10 months. By late March, mothers  hunker down in burrows or hollow logs to deliver litters of up to six pups.

Featured Video