Coyotes are Arizona’s most common predator and found throughout the entire state. Though not always seen, their vocalizations consisting of howls, yelps, and barks are regularly heard during almost any night spent in the field.
The animal’s pointed ears, narrow nose, reddish brown to blond coat, and black or white tipped tail, help differentiate coyotes from dogs and wolves.
The head and body length of coyotes is about 2 ½ to 3 feet with the tail adding another foot or so. Adult males are larger than females, the two sexes averaging about 21 and 17 ½ pounds, respectively.
A very large male may attain a weight of 35 pounds. Contrary to popular belief, coyotes do not readily interbreed with either dogs or wolvess
Coyotes are opportunists, feeding mainly on small mammals, but also on carrion, bird eggs, and vegetable matter such as acorns, mesquite and palo verde beans, and juniper and manzanita berries. They also prey on pronghorn and deer fawns, and insects when such items are available. In urban areas, garbage, domestic cats, and small dogs are sometimes taken.
Coyotes form strong pair bonds, usually breeding between mid-January and March 15. After a two-month gestation period, from one to several young are born in a den or burrow; the average litter size being about five pups. They leave the den when about 8 to 10 weeks old.
Coyote Viewing Areas
The following are recommended areas for viewing coyotes:
- Blue River Route
- Country Club Trail #632
- Grasslands Wildlife Area
- Mount Baldy Loop
- Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area
- Wildcat Point Loop