What do coyotes eat isn’t it an interesting question….? In this post, I will cover all the diet processes of these creatures, whom I call The Ghost Of The City. Eating is necessary for every living entity on this planet, and so is for a coyote.

Having both qualities of getting food, it is a hunter and a scavenger. Besides that, it can be active at any time to get the food either by killing other small and medium-sized animals or by picking food from the nearby areas.

What Do Coyotes Eat

The diet of coyotes is contained in several types of food. Let us introduce you to this amazing fact that it is an opportunistic feeder and likes to consume a variety of foods. For instance: meat, carrion (dead animals), fruit, and vegetables.

A graduate student, Paul Morey, analyzed scat contents at different locations within our area of study. He examined 1,429 scats and found those diet items varied across space and time, which reflects the flexible food habits of coyotes.

The Frequency Of Nutriment Items In The Diets Of Coyotes In Cook County:-

What do coyotes eat graph

When he noted his outcomes the most common food items were small rodents (42 %) and fruit (23%). The deer (22%), and rabbit (18%). (Scats often have more than one diet item; therefore, frequencies do not necessarily add up to 100%.). Many other items occurred at lower frequencies as you can see in the table.

Voles were found the most common small rodent in the diet. Domestic cats were found in only 1.3% of scats. Human-related food like garbage and pet food was found in only 1.9% of scats. Barely the majority of coyotes in our study area do not rely on pets or garbage.

Do Coyotes Eat Deer?

Most of us think that coyotes brutally kill and eat deer. According to research on stomach samples of coyotes conducted by “Shippensburg University”, coyotes do indeed eat deer more than anything else. But this isn’t the entire truth.


You will be wonderful after knowing this interesting fact coyotes are usually blamed for preying dismally on deer, and their scat mostly does contain deer hair, but studies have shown that most (92% in one study) of the deer ingested by them are scavenged after being killed by vehicles or having died as a result of other injuries and incidents.

A large percentage of the deer that are killed by coyotes have severe pre-existing injuries and would likely have died from them had they not been preyed upon by coyotes.

What Do Coyotes Eat In The Desert?

In a desert, coyotes eat the food that is available there and they know how to survive the desolate place. They are omnivores which means they will eat or try to eat anything to be alive. In fact, they are an amazing traveler. Coyotes can travel so long in the desert for food and find their pack.


When they are in a desert they switch their diet most often with a change in the season. In the desert, they tend the feed Cactus fruit, mesquite beans, flowers, insects, rodents, lizards, and snakes that they like to eat the most.

What Do Coyotes Eat In The Wild?

In the wild, there is plenty of food available for coyotes but it isn’t that much simpler to get it because they have many competitors who look for the same food. In spring, coyotes prey mostly on small mammals (foxes, rodents, rabbits, mice, and voles) and eat wild berries, birds, amphibians, grasshoppers, and deer fawns. Coyotes howl usually when they down their prey.


Coyotes eat any small animals they can catch which includes mice, rats, gophers, mountain beavers, rabbits, squirrels, snakes, lizards, frogs, fish, birds, and animal carcasses. Besides that when there is summer and fall they can eat Grass, fruits, and berries as well. They are really a master of hunting. The hunting techniques of coyotes are really amazing.

If we talk about the rival of coyotes, there are many but a wolf is one of the strong opponents of the coyote. Who prey on the same food which coyote does in the wild but this creature with small legs is very crafty and knows how to reach up to its food.

What Do Coyotes Eat In The Winters?

In winter, the food that they eat consists mainly of rabbits, Deer, and hares, when the snow is so deep that the deer’s mobility is restricted.


When winter arrives, insects aren’t around and rodents are hidden by snow. Coyotes become more dependent upon carrion, particularly white-tailed deer. Coyotes sleep during the day and hunt in the moonlight.

It takes a considerable amount of energy for a coyote to kill a deer, especially when there is no snow on the ground.

There are a lot of dead deer lying along the roadsides and in the woods that can be found during the winter months which they eat.

What Do Urban Coyotes Eat?

Many of us believe that urban coyotes primarily eat garbage and pets. although they are predators, and opportunistic, so they shift their diets to take advantage of the most available prey.


Through necropsy (post-mortem evaluations), investigation of scat, visual observation, and high-tech science, it seems the majority of coyotes in our study area do NOT, in fact, rely on pets or garbage for their diets.

Urban coyotes are those species that reside in North American metropolitan areas. They thrive in suburban settings and also even in some urban regions, because of the existence of food easily and the lack of predators and competitors.

These are opportunistic carnivores – whatever is available and relatively easy to find and/or catch, coyotes will eat.

Coyotes frequent neighborhoods, harmonizing humans with food sources such as garbage and domestic pets.  Pets and pet food can be kept inside to prompt coyotes to hunt in other places.  If possible, landscaping can be shifted to disparage the reproduction of rabbits and rodents, animals that coyotes commonly hunt.

Let us know in the comment section if this article about what coyotes eat is helpful for you. You can also share your incident with a coyote or you know anything about its eating habits.


About David Gray

David Gray is born & raised in Bozeman Montana, USA. He has been hunting & fishing since 2009. And used most of the outdoor gear during his 22 years of hunting experience. He likes to spend most of the time in the woods, on the trail, or by the water. He taught us about his outdoor journey and equipment experience.

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4 thoughts on “What Do Coyotes Eat | Diet And Food Of The Ghost Of The City

  1. phaser says:

    Having гead this I thought it was very enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the tіme and effort to put thіs informative article together.
    I once again find myself spending a significant amоunt of time both readіng and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  2. Thank you so much for putting your precious time to read this article. We appreciate your input and we will look forward to making the forthcoming articles more interesting and informative……we hope you will stay in touch.

  3. Jeanie says:

    I live in an Urban area. We have a large wild animal population that consists of, raccoons, possum, skunk, squirrels, mice,rats, peacocks, and peahens, also red fox from time to time. I seem to live smack in the middle of their hub. I hear them every night after the hunt. When it’s pup time I see and hear them as well. I’m used to living with them. I have two very large dogs in my fenced yard. My malamute tends to converse with them through howls. I have been known to toss them chicken legs, turkey necks or other raw meats and fish. I’m glad to learn they also like fruits and berries. I’m aware that it’s probably not a good idea, but when I moved in I had 18 rescue cats, I now have 10. Since I started throwing food out for them, I haven’t lost a cat in over 2 years.

  4. Frank says:

    I live in the Catskills in New York and have observed hundreds of coyotes at night with nightvision. In the Spring a coyote with pups targets fawns and can kill a great number of them within their territory. In Winter packs of coyotes will target adult deer that are healthy, but struggle in deep or crusted snow. Farmers in certain areas have consistently lost livestock and many folks have lost pets, especially cats and small dogs. I once observed four coyotes steal and kill a bear cub from its mother. Adult coyotes do not have any natural predators, so their numbers can rise to levels that upset the balance of nature.

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