Wile E. Coyote ~ Canis latrans

I am always on duty if I see a loose dog. I have a leash, treats and water in my car. I have been known to run into traffic to save dogs. Don’t try to stop me!

On my way home from work, I was sitting at a particularly long light and staring out into the beautiful prairie. I saw movement below… A dog? Lemmie see a bit closer… Hmmm, nope, that’s a coyote!

Coyotes were infrequent in Illinois for a long time after settlement of the state, but their numbers have increased dramatically during the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

An average home range of the coyote incorporates 2-10 square miles.  Members of packs tend to have smaller home ranges than the “loners”.  Sizes of home ranges are also subjective by the quality of habitat, presence of nearby packs and seasons of the year. This especially applies when coyotes are breeding or rearing pups.

Home ranges are not exclusive; many coyotes may live in the same area.  These groups, referred to as packs, usually contain extended families.  Members of one pack rarely venture into another’s territory. Some coyotes do not belong to packs. These solitary coyotes or ‘loners’ tend to have larger home ranges than pack coyotes and are less respectful of pack boundaries. They sometimes join a pack when one of the members leaves or dies.

Coyotes normally mate in February, however, only the alpha pair in a pack will mate and subordinates will usually help raise the young. Coyotes appear to be monogamous and bonds between alpha pairs have only been broken upon the death of one of the pair. In April, just before the 62 to 65-day gestation period, the female will begin looking for existing dens or dig one herself.

When scientist had analyzed stomach contents, the most common food items were small rodents (42%), fruit (23%), deer (22%), and rabbit (18%). Apparently, the majority of coyotes in this study area do not rely on pets or garbage for their diets.

coyote deaths


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

22 thoughts on “Wile E. Coyote ~ Canis latrans

    • They will run. They get a bad rap for the maybe 1 a year snatching of an unattended ‘cat that barks’ (little dog).
      I’ve seen them near my home, but I’m near a large preserve. I wish they would take back the rabbit population. . This year the rabbits are everywhere! Eating my plants! Arg.
      I respect they have a job to do (skunk and rabbit removal) and since they don’t bother me or my boys, they get a thumbs up from me! 👍


  1. Those “coyote guys”, and other wild life, must be continually stressed out by our expansion into there territories. We live in an area that is home for over 5 million people and the poor coyotes have to either live discretely with us as best they can, or move North. I guess that’s progress????


    • Oh, you nailed it on the head! I wish we humans would give wildlife a chance. We need to protect some space for them. This area is somewhat part of a ‘corridor’ that wildlife can use to migrate. It surrounds a river for miles.
      These guys do a job, they rid us of other animals that are more troublesome like skunks, mice and rabbits. Without Coyotes, no garden plant is safe from nibbling!


  2. Coyotes do get a bad rap near urban areas. People fear for their dog or cat … admittedly I would too.
    Rabbits may be out of control in your area, but our issue is raccoons and unfortunately there is no natural predator to get the population down.


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