Wild Profile: Meet the coyote

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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.

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