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.

Former research associate Justin Brown, after just catching 434 for collaring

Coyote 434 is a good example of how human behaviors, such as feeding wildlife, can result in coyotes becoming a nuisance. 434 was captured on February 18, 2010, in a marsh surrounded by a subdivision and miles of urbanization. She was a young female, approximately 10 months old, and weighed 13.1 kg. Although this was the peak of the breeding season, she was not in breeding condition. A GPS collar was placed on coyote 434, which means that she was located by satellites on an intensive schedule (at times, this was every 10 minutes, other times every hour).