Coyote Paw Print



Coyotes are mostly nocturnal mammals but occasionally are about in the daytime. They can run as fast as 45 MPH for short distances, and they seem to enjoy outwitting other animals and are even playful on occasion. Coyotes also have a rich vocabulary, made up of various short sounds, barks, yips, growls, whimpers  and howls. In addition to sound they communicate with other coyotes through variations of stance, ear position, tail position, gaze, and teeth exposure.

Social organization in coyotes varies from those living singly, in pairs of male and female or in a family. They exhibit complex facial expressions and body postures to define their social role.

A Litter of Coyote Pups


Geographical Range:

Coyotes prefer to live in brushy country along the edge of timber or in open farmlands. They occur throughout North America, stretching from Mexico to Alaska. In Missouri they can be found in the abundant prairie region of northern and western Missouri. The home range of a coyote can be fairly small, 3 to 4 mile diameter when the young are being fed and as great as 9 to 27 square miles during the rest of the year. Coyote dens are usually located in unused fields, in a bank under a hollowed log, in a rock cavity or even under a deserted building.



The height of mating season is late February, individual females can only breed on average of 2 to 5 days per year. Courtship between males and females can begin several months before mating season. Gestation period is roughly 58 to 63 days and litters usually are comprised of 5 to 7 babies but can range from 2 to 19 babies, born in late April. Some males and females will stay mated for a year and others remain mated for life. The young are blind and helpless at birth, and are covered with a brownish grey fur. Their eyes open within 8 and 14 days of age and head outside of their den for their first peek at the world at 3 weeks. Both parents care for the young, when they are very tiny the father will bring the mother food, and when the babies are a little older the father will still hunt and bring back food for them as well. The babies are taught to hunt for themselves at 8 to 12 weeks old and will leave the den and venture out on their own in late summer early fall. The babies usually do not start breeding, themselves, until the second year of life.

Coyote Pup


Food Preferences:

Coyotes eat animal foods primarily relying upon rabbits, mice and other rodents; this makes up two-thirds of their diet. They will also dine on livestock, poultry, insects and plants. Vegetation is very important seasonally as well as some fruits and seeds.

Adult Coyote at the Clinic