Wolfgang Bayer/DCI

The term "wily coyote" was possibly coined in response to this intelligent canid's problem-solving abilities when hunting prey.

Coyotes will ambush a ground squirrel by waiting at one of the burrow's exits as a badger digs its way in at the entrance.

When hunting in pairs, one typically distracts the attention of the prey while the other coyote sneaks up from behind.

They will also wade in the water to catch fish and forage along the banks for crayfish or turtle eggs,

In general, they eat a variety of food items, including small rodents, rabbits, and carrion, as well as some fruits and plants. They do not, however, prey on large game.

Animal Facts

Name: Coyote (Canis latrans)

Family: Canidae (Dogs and Relatives)

Range: Central America to Alaska

Habitat: Open areas in forests or at forest edges

Diet: Small mammals, birds, snakes, carrion, fruits and vegetables

Head and Body Length: 3.3 to 4.6 feet (1 to 1.4 m)

Tail Length: 11 to 12 inches (28 to 30 cm)

Weight: 33 to 44 pounds (15 to 20 kg)

Life Cycle: Mating January to March; gestation 60 to 64 days, five to ten young born

Description: Grayish-brown to yellowish-gray coat; pale underneath; pointed, erect ears; long, slender muzzle; drooping, bottle-shaped tail with black tip

Conservation Status: Common