word coyote came from the Aztec Indians of Mexico. Coyotes
are known for their howling. However, they
have many other sounds to “talk” to each other.
Coyotes look like mid-size dogs. They range between 18
to 22 inches tall, or nearly 2 feet. The length of their
body ranges from 30 to 40 inches or somewhere around 3 feet.
Their tails add another foot or more to their length. Their
fur on their legs and face is light brown. Their backs are
grayer in color. Females weigh as little as 15 pounds. Males
can weigh up to 45 pounds.
mate during the winter months. They stay together for life.
After mating, the female will look for an out-of-the way place
to build a den. The type of land the coyotes
live on will determine the type of den. Coyotes can dig their
own burrows or dens, steal one from a fox,
set up one in a cave, or build a den in very thick brushland.
two months of development, about 6 pups are born. Mother will
nurse the pups for about 2 months. However, after one month,
coyotes mix solid food into their pup’s diet! When there
is plenty of food, pups will stay with their parents and hunt
in a pack. When they are old enough, they
will find their own hunting grounds. They can travel more
than 90 miles to set up their own territories.
Coyotes live about 4 years in the wild. If they are captured, they can live
up to 22 years in a zoo.
set up housekeeping in many habitats. However,
they prefer open grassland and wooded brushland. They mark
their territory with their urine. Howling and loud sounds
are used to warn other animals that do not belong in their
territories. Coyotes hunt mostly at night. They stalk their
prey and attack. They will hunt larger animals
in packs, such as deer and elk.
are meat eaters, or carnivores. Their diet
depends upon where they are living. In Pennsylvania, they
eat mainly rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and other
small mammals. Coyotes will eat dead animals as well as prey
they have killed. Sheep are a favorite food source for coyotes
when sheep farms are in their territory. Coyotes have been
known to raid garbage cans.