Nov. 16, 2009 – Coyotes – (Canis latrans) are grizzled gray or reddish-gray with buff underparts a bushy tail with a black tip, and prominent ears. They are excellent runners, with cruising speeds of 25 to 35 miles per hour and short bursts of up to 40 miles per hour.
Extremely intelligent and adaptable, the coyote is expanding its range despite loss of traditional habitat and human hunting pressures. Today the coyote can be found in desert, grassland, mountain and suburban environments as far north as Alaska and as far south as Central America.
The coyote is an opportunistic hunter employing a variety of methods to obtain food. It patiently stalks and pounces on small mammals. It has trememdous endurance and can simply chase prey until it is worn out. Where the food supply is predominantly small animals, it hunts alone or in breeding pairs, while in the presence of large prey such as deer, it will hunt in packs. Coyotes will also make do with insects, lizards, carrion, fruit, and even pine nuts (grass seeds).
Coyotes are usually heard between dusk and dawn. Barks and yelps followed by drawn-out howls serve to announce location, strenghten social bonds, and reunite separated members of a band.
NOTE: The above definition of coyotes comes from a Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Special Publication called “Geologic tours in the Las Vegas Area”.