How to Identify a Coyote

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Coyotes live throughout North America from Alaska to New England and south through Mexico to Panama. They inhabit all geographical zones, from low valleys to high mountains. Coyotes especially like the open plains, grasslands and high mesas but will move to other areas as long as there is food available.

  • Spot a coyote by his appearance. They resemble a medium sized dog only they're scrawny with large triangular pointy ears. They have a long bushy tail with a black tip and they hold their tail in a downward position. They resemble a cross between a fox and a German shepherd and sometimes a medium sized collie.

  • Determine how much the animal weighs. Coyotes usually weigh between 25 and 50 pounds, and are about twenty inches in height. They are brown, tan or gray in color depending on where they live, with reddish tinges to the fur and yellowish legs.

  • Look for the coyote's long narrow muzzle and his distinctive yellow eyes. The yellow eyes help him to see in low light.

  • Notice any signs left behind from the coyote such as the remains of small animals. Their diets consist of rabbits, raccoons, mice, cats or small dogs and they will even attack and eat a full grown deer. Coyotes also eat fruits, vegetables, grass and insects.

  • Listen for the coyote communication cries identified by their howling, barking, yelping or huffing noises.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not leave pet food outdoors. Coyotes can become dangerous when they are hungry. They will come into your yard or around your home looking for food. They will kill family pets such as cats or small dogs for food.

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