What Do Coyotes Eat? (Coyote Diet and Favorite Food)

In this article, we’ll answer the question:

“What do coyotes eat?”

First, you’ll find a short summary of what coyotes eat in nature, then get a list of a coyote’s favorite foods that make up a typical coyote diet. And finally, answers to common questions about coyote feeding habits and nutrition.

Coyotes are omnivores but primarily carnivorous, and are in the Canis genus within the Canidae family under the Carnivora order.

What do coyotes eat
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What Do Coyotes Eat?

Coyotes eat amphibians, insects, small reptiles, rodents, large mammals, and birds. Coyotes are omnivores with a diet comprising mostly of meat but sometimes eat vegetables and fruits. Coyotes also eat carrion because they are scavengers. A coyote’s diet is determined by the availability of prey and vegetation in its habitat.

Coyote Diet (Favorite Foods)

  • Birds
  • Carrion
  • Deer
  • Grasshoppers
  • Livestock
  • Mice
  • Rabbits
  • Voles
  • Shrews
  • Snakes
  • Grass
  • Grain
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Watermelon

How Often Does a Coyote Eat?

Coyotes eat as often as possible at any time of the day when they can find food. A coyote is an opportunistic feeder that feeds constantly throughout each season in the year.

How Much Do Coyotes Eat Per Day?

A coyote eats around about 1.5 pounds of food per day or approximately 550 pounds each year. The amount of food coyotes eat depends on food availability and the size of the prey. A coyote’s food consumption rate varies from one habitat to another.

How Long Can Coyotes Live Without Food?

Coyotes can live 2 to 3 days without food before their organs start shutting down and they die. However, coyotes are opportunistic feeders and omnivorous animals, making their chances of dying of hunger minimal.

According to National Geographic, coyotes are adaptable animals that can feed on almost anything and these animals improve their hunting style to match the available foods in the habitat.

Do Coyotes Eat Humans?

Coyotes do not eat humans and attacks on people are very rare. However, cases of coyotes attacking humans in urban areas are becoming increasingly common because of habitat encroachment.

In an article from the New York Times, a coyote attacked and bit five people, including two young children, near San Francisco. The Humane Society reports only two recorded incidences in the United States and Canada of humans being killed by coyotes.

Do Coyotes Eat Cats?

Coyotes will make a meal out of a cat, whether tame or feral. As opportunistic hunters, a coyote will hunt and eat cats when they live in close proximity to the coyote’s habitat.

Do Coyotes Eat Fruit?

Coyotes eat fruits, including berries and watermelon, and vegetables and oats as they are omnivores. However, fruits and vegetables only form 10% of a coyote’s diet as they prefer to eat meat.

What Animals Eat Coyotes?

Coyotes are prey to a number of different species.

You can visit our other guide on what animals eat coyotes to find out which predators actively feed on these mammals.

Coyote diet

Coyote Eating Habits and Diet Summary

You now know what do coyotes eat in the wild as well as the typical food in a coyote diet.

As you discovered in this guide, coyotes are omnivores that are primarily carnivorous and prey on various species for nutrition with a coyote’s favorite food being things like amphibians, large mammals, and birds.