The coyote (Canis latrans
), highly adaptable, intelligent and often misunderstood. Along with phone calls about deer fawn, fledgling songbirds, and mistakenly-orphaned small mammals, lately the dialogue about coyote encounters has increased. Here are the facts. How do I know if I’ve spotted a coyote?
Coyotes resemble small German shepherds, weigh 20-40 pounds, and often have grizzled tannish-gray fur. They have a black-tipped tail that is normally pointed down.
Do coyotes travel through my backyard?
|Photo credit: ODNR Division of Wildlife |
Coyotes live in rural and urban areas across Ohio, and throughout North America, playing a positive and influential role in the food web and local ecosystems. Are coyotes more active this time of year?
The likelihood of a coyote encounter changes with the seasons. When raising their young (April and May), the adults show increased awareness of humans. They may watch you intently, or even pursue you short distances; however, the chances of an aggressive encounter are very slim. What should I do if I feel threatened by a coyote?
In the unlikely event of such an encounter, chances are it's the parents defending their young. Don’t run! Hold your ground. Stand and shout. If you’re wearing a coat, hold it open to make yourself appear larger. Do coyotes eat white-tailed deer?
Coyotes in our area generally eat small mammals and rabbits. However, coyotes are opportunists and will take advantage of any available food. They will scavenge dead deer, eat pet food left outside and also fruit and vegetables. Small pets running free can look like food to a coyote, so keep pets on a leash.