What do coyotes eat?

In this brief article we will answer the question,” What do coyotes eat?” We will look at related topics such as how often coyotes eat and if they consume fruits and veggies. We will also look at the effect a coyote’s diet has on the ecosystem and how coyotes hunt.

What do coyotes eat?

Coyotes are omnivores although they are predominantly categorized as carnivorous and feed on a wide variety of prey which include insects, fish, small reptiles, birds, rodents, amphibians and large animals which include bison, elk, white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep and moose.

Coyotes also eat birds and they hunt down birds such as sparrows, wild turkeys and thrashers. Coyotes are very fast animals and can reach top speeds of 40 miles per hour and can therefore hunt in a pack whether alone or in a pack.

How often do coyotes eat?

When coyotes are not active, they can get by just consuming small amounts of food. However, when they are active, or when a female coyote is pregnant and feeding small pups it will need more food. In the above cases, the coyotes will require to eat more than the inactive coyotes.

Coyotes are usually opportunistic feeders which mean they consume all the food they can get. When there is sufficient prey, coyotes prefer to hunt down and kill such prey which can include voles, mice, opossums, gophers, rats among others.

When there is scarcity of food, and their regular food supplies become limited they switch to eating sparrows, chicken and other small birds. Coyotes are not entirely carnivores and can therefore switch to eat peanuts, watermelon and crickets as well as bugs, fruits and nuts.

Do Coyotes Eat Fruits and Veggies?

Yes, coyotes do eat fruits and veggies. Even though they have preference towards meat, they will gladly feed on other types of foods that are in plenty. Coyotes eat whatever they can find and fruits also comprise a large part of a coyotes dietary staple.

In seasons such as Winter and Autumn, when fruits fall coyotes usually eat a lot of veggies and fruits more so berries. Therefore coyotes’ dietary patterns usually change with the different seasons.

Does a Coyote’s diet have an effect on the ecosystem?

Coyotes eat baby deer also known as fawns for sustenance. They can eat up to 70% of the fawn’s total population in various environments. Coyotes can drastically reduce the population of deer by eating them. 

They are therefore important in controlling the no.s of deer and Canadian geese which is important in balancing the biodiversity in the urban environments. Deers usually create disturbances to homes and also carry ticks and other parasites.

However, coyotes have the advantage of assisting in regulating  and decreasing the no.s of deer in the urban and suburban areas.

Coyotes are very important in managing the no.s of deer and Canadian geese.  This assists in managing biodiversity in urban environments. Deer can be a problem to homeowners yards and carry infestations as they have ticks and parasites.

Coyotes therefore assist the ecosystem by reducing the growth of the goose population and this assists in keeping golf courses, parks and grassy areas from damage.

How do Coyotes Hunt?

Coyotes can hunt alone or can hunt in packs as earlier mentioned. They are usually very stealth and quiet when hunting and when taking down their prey. They are quiet so as not to alert other predators to their kill.

If they are hunting down a big sized prey, they prefer to do so in packs as they never like risking getting injured when they are out hunting.

What do Coyotes Eat in Zoos?

Coyotes in zoos usually follow controlled daily diets. They are usually fed veggies, fruits and also eat small rodents and dry dog food.

When in zoos they are not able to hunt down prey for food as they usually do in the wild. The zoo therefore provides them with the requisite food on a regular basis.


In this brief article we have answered the question,” What do coyotes eat?” We have looked at related topics such as how often coyotes eat and if they consume fruits and veggies. We have looked at the effect a coyote’s diet has on the ecosystem and how coyotes hunt.


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