What do urban coyotes eat?

Many people believe that urban coyotes primarily eat garbage and pets. Although coyotes are predators, they are also opportunistic and shift their diets to take advantage of the most available prey. Coyotes are generally scavengers and predators of small prey but can shift to large prey occasionally. The most common food item for coyotes is small rodents. Through necropsy (post-mortem evaluations), scat investigation, 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. Review this topic on the page About Coyotes.

coyote 571 image

Coyote 571 was a coyote who beat the odds, every time. She was captured first in December 2011, not yet a year old. Given her young age class and healthy appearance, she was fitted with a standard radio-collar and we stood back to see what her story would be. 571 turned out to be an amazing suburban animal. Although she did not navigate downtown Chicago streets, the Hoffman Estates/Schaumburg (IL) suburbs can often be an equally challenging network of traffic patterns (for human or animal).