No one who has heard the eerie cry of a coyote during its hunt can ever forget it. The high-pitched yip, yip and alternate keening howl are just plain spooky. Perhaps that is one reason why this moderately sized canis has such an oversized reputation.
The most verbal of all wild mammals in North American, coyotes speak to each other to announce where they are, to great each other when meeting, and to tell others of their territory claims. In most cases, humans should welcome them as they eat a variety of small rodents including mice, rats, rabbits, snakes and insects.
They may hunt deer in packs, where they pursue the deer until it tires or herd it to other team members. They have been known to establish “hunting partnerships” with badgers, letting the badgers dig the prey out of its hole while the coyote chases it once it is exposed. Coyotes have expanded throughout most of North America and even into Latin America, so they aren’t as exotic as they once seemed. They’ve filled in the hole left by the eradication of the wolf, which was once common throughout the continent.
They are great foragers who take advantage of the scraps, carrion, wandering small pets and young game, considered opportunistic feeders.
They can be found in deserts, forests, urban settings and grasslands where they raise litters of four to seven pups in earthen dens. The pups appear after about eight weeks and are taught by both parents throughout the summer.