The coyote is an aggressive omnivore, and you might be asking yourself what do coyotes hunt? Coyotes tend to consume whatever food source presents itself.
Coyotes eat a wide variety of animals, including big game like deer and elk, small animals like squirrels, mice, and birds, livestock like sheep and cattle, domestic animals like cats and dogs, and even fish.
Let’s get some context on your question what do coyotes hunt? What makes coyotes unique before we dig into their typical diet?
What are Coyotes?
Before we get to your query, what do coyotes hunt, let us know about coyotes. Coyotes, like wolves, belong to the canid family. However, they are considerably smaller than their giant wolf ancestors.
The usual male coyote is between 18 and 44 pounds and 3.3 and 4.5 feet long.
It’s no coincidence that people in the north tend to be heavier than those in the south; the vast weight disparity across the world is directly tied to latitude.
The fur color of a coyote can range from white to gray to light brown, depending on its habitat. The coyote has also held considerable cultural meaning for humans for many generations.
In Mesoamerican art, particularly that of the Teotihuacan and Aztec cultures, coyotes often take on the role of warriors.
Native American art and folklore feature these animals frequently as well.
In some parts of the country, like the southwestern United States and the Great Plains, the coyote is seen as a mischievous trickster, but in others, like the Chinook, Pawnee, Ute, and Maidu, it is seen as a companion of The Creator.
South Dakota also recognizes the coyote as its official state mammal.
Read also: 7 Ways You Can Scare Away Coyotes
Where Do Coyotes Live?
Let us get to know where coyotes live. Coyotes have traditionally been restricted to the deserts and prairies of Mexico and the central United States.
However, they now have a far wider effective range. Coyotes are exceptionally adaptable animals that may now be found in Mexico, throughout much of the United States, and Southern Canada.
In the wild, these creatures can be found in a variety of ecosystems, including deserts, grasslands, and woods.
Because of human population growth and urbanization, coyotes now live in human habitations.
Coyotes, when coexisting with humans, will seek locations with dense vegetation or covers such as woods or bushes.
They usually stay away from places like neighborhoods, shopping centers, and factories. However, they will make do with whatever habitat is left, including parks and golf courses.
Read also: Do Coyotes Hunt During the Day?
Who Compete with Coyotes For Food?
Coyotes have stiff competition from a wide variety of predators when it comes to food. Gray wolves and coyotes have a long history of rivalry.
Coyotes tend to avoid regions where wolves live because the wolves dominate hunting and either kill the coyotes or kill their food supply.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, when wolf populations began to drop, coyote populations began to expand.
As time went on, Yellowstone National Park became home to a sizable pack of canine cannibals known as coyotes.
The coyote population dropped by 39% after the reintroduction of the gray wolf to the area. Coyotes also compete with and are preyed upon by cougars.
Cougars and coyotes compete for deer in the Sierra Nevada and cougars usually dominate. Coyotes are prey for cougars, but they aren’t killed by them to the same extent that wolves are.
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What Do Coyotes Hunt?
What do coyotes hunt? We’re at the point that you are about to know what do coyotes hunt? Although their diets vary by region, all coyotes are strictly carnivorous.
Coyotes feed on a wide variety of animals, from insects and frogs to fish and small reptiles to birds and rodents, and even larger mammals like deer, elk, bighorn sheep, bison, and moose.
Coyotes prey on a variety of bird species, including thrashers, sparrows, and even wild turkeys. Coyotes can run up to 40 miles per hour and hunt both in packs and independently.
Coyotes will only attack larger ungulates in a pack, not individually. Toads, shrews, moles, and rats aren’t typically eaten by coyotes, even if they’re abundant. Coyotes also cannibalize the remains of other coyotes.
Although meat makes up 90% of a coyote’s diet, the remaining 10% is just as crucial.
Peaches, blackberries, pears, blueberries, apples, carrots, cantaloupe, melons, and peanuts are just a few of the many fruits and vegetables that are enjoyed by coyotes.
Grass and grain are staples for coyotes, especially during the colder months. In places occupied by humans, coyotes have adapted to eat what is available.
Cattle, sheep, corn, wheat, and other crops are examples of this in rural locations.
Coyotes in densely populated areas will feast on raccoons, rabbits, pets, road death, garbage, and even garden vegetables.
Regardless matter where they are living, coyotes are very flexible and are capable of adapting.
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Common Food Coyote Hunt
- Bighorn sheep
- Grassland birds that are native to the United States
- Household animals
- Vegetables and fruits from the garden
This should suffice for the time being. It is hoped that you have gained a better understanding of coyotes, their diet, and what do coyotes hunt.
Coyotes consume a wide variety of food, especially terms their prey. However, when living in urban areas, they eat a different diet than when they are in the woods.
This article should have taught you something about what do coyotes hunt. if you happen to see one in the wild, please keep in mind that they are just doing what coyotes do and trying to avoid conflict.