Small in relation to their wolf relatives, coyotes typically grow to be two feet tall, four feet long, and weigh between 20 and 55 pounds. Their fur is traditionally various shades of gray, brown, or tawny, though, depending on their location, coyotes' coats can also appear predominantly black, white, or red. The pests also have a noticeable tinge of red around their ears and faces, as well as black guard hairs on their backs and tails.
Differentiating from Similar Species
Though they are commonly confused with dogs, coyotes can be identified by their slender snouts, large pointed ears, and bushier tails, typically tipped in black. They also carry their tails low, almost dragging the ground, while dogs are more inclined to be friendly, with tails wagging.
Wolves and coyotes are often mistaken for each other, as well. Distinctive features, such as wolves' broad heads with shorter, rounder ears, help differentiate between the two species. Finally, while their coats may appear similar, wolves can grow up to twice the size of the average coyote.
Damage and Removal
Coyotes are opportunistic hunters that will feed on almost anything. These pests are just as likely to eat fruits and small game as they are to feast on carrion and garbage. Coyotes will take small livestock if the opportunity presents itself and attack small pets left alone in yards. Exclusion methods such as fencing don't usually deter these pests, so contacting trained wildlife professionals is the surest and safest way to identify and eliminate coyote infestations.