Coyote Eating Habits

Coyote licking nose by Ellison photography

Coyote’s diet is diverse, and changes with the seasons, depending on food availability.  In late Spring and Summer, coyotes seek out snowshoe hare, diverse species of rodents, insects like grasshoppers, raccoons and porcupines, wild turkeys, and some ungulate newborns, just to mention a few choices in their diet.

In late Summer and Fall, coyote’s diet is almost exclusively berries: blueberries and raspberries being their favorites.

Coyote with Mouse by Diane Hilkey

In Winter and early Spring when the snow is deep, coyotes survive on wildlife that have succumbed to the cold or starvation. This includes the many deer mortally injured by hunters who were not able to retrieve them, those injured by automobiles, those who are starving or diseased, as well as deer not capable of escaping due to deep snows or slippery ice.  Snowshoe hare are also a primary food in the winter. And rodents are never off their menu, particularly when snow melts due to intermittent thaws in the weather.

All this said, Coyote’s diet remains diverse all year, depending on the weather, snow cover, climate change, landscape changes due to human intervention, and availability of their prey.