Coyotes are four-legged canines found in North America. To thrive and survive, each season is different for them. Coyotes are often misjudged and have a terrible reputation, especially among farmers. However, most people’s perceptions of coyotes come from misguided information. To better understand coyotes, we need to see their behavior throughout the year. In this article, we look at what coyotes do during summer.
Coyotes are busy in summer, although not as active as in other seasons. Summer brings an abundance of food for them and their young, and time is spent showing the young how to hunt and fend for themselves before setting off on their own later in October.
Coyotes behave differently depending on the season. This article looks at how they adapt their diet and feeding behaviors and how summer affects their offspring. Read on to learn the answers to these questions and how the changing seasons impact their survival rates.
Are Coyotes Active In Summer?
In summer, coyotes are busy feeding their young. During summer, crop farming occurs, attracting coyotes to scavenge for food and sustenance. Coyotes are omnivores but favor meat. Small mammals make up a substantial portion of their diet.
Small mammals can be found among the crop fields in summer, such as mice and rabbits, and reptiles, such as snakes. Hayfields are ideal for coyotes to find food, and coyotes are very active during the period before and after farming.
Before sending young coyotes to fend for themselves, adult coyotes ensure that they are fed and well taken care of. Summer is the best time to find plentiful food and a good head start for young coyotes.
Coyotes are opportunistic scavengers. This means that they adapt their dietary behaviors to what is available in their immediate environment. Primarily, people think that coyotes eat pets and other animals. While this is true, this is not 100% the case with coyotes’ dietary behavior.
Coyotes also feed off fruits and vegetables, which make them omnivores. Coyotes are incredibly active during summer because there are abundant food sources to be scavenged for.
Where Do Coyotes Sleep In Summer?
In summer, coyotes prefer to sleep and rest in their dens. Coyotes’ dens may be located under rocks, beneath trees or large roots, or dug in a hole on the side of a hill. Essentially, these areas serve as cover from other predators and hunters and a safe place from the scorching heat of the summer sun.
Generally, most animals will stay away from the direct rays of sunlight. Coyotes prefer to rest in shady areas like large bushes, patches, and thick shrubbery. Coyotes are nocturnal animals and will generally remain concealed and hidden from view during the entire day.
Summer is considered the favorite season of these animals. Essentially, abundant food sources are available, and harsh weather conditions do not hamper their resting and sleeping patterns. More than this, coyotes also stay in open areas to feel the cool breeze of the summer air. Like humans, these animals take advantage of open areas to cool off and seek shade from the summer heat.
What Do Coyotes Eat In Summer?
During summer, adult coyotes help feed their young, but they also need to care for themself. As such, almost any food available is possible to be eaten. A lot of people have this misconception that coyotes primarily eat meat. This is tied with misguided information about the overall dietary habits of coyotes.
Coyotes are omnivores, which means that their dietary behaviors are supplemented with fruits, crops, vegetables, and meat. The summer season is the peak of harvesting crops and hay in farmlands. As these are the available food sources during this season, coyotes primarily eat hay, emerging plants, berries, and insects that thrive during this season, such as grasshoppers or dragonflies. Birds and small mammals such as squirrels also form part of their diet.
The rodent population increases during summer, bringing much-needed food to the coyotes. For coyotes who live in urban areas, feeding on garbage and available fruits on trees are their main options during summer.
These animals are known to adapt exceptionally well to their current living conditions. As such, it’s no wonder that they thrive in various seasons.
Where there is a presence of humans, coyotes follow. The reason for this is due to the animal’s survival instinct. Where there are humans, there is a higher chance of finding food. Living conditions are also better for coyotes in urban areas.
Living near populated areas allows coyotes to increase their chances of survival. Coyotes adjust their daily living conditions in different seasons to survive.
During summer, coyotes will search for hay, fruits, and vegetables as farmers harvest their crops. These animals adjust their dietary needs depending on what is available around them. This adaptive trait is what keeps them alive and surviving.
During winter, coyotes will often hunt for larger animals such as deer and rest in covered dens and shelters. During winter, juvenile coyotes will start to look for their territories and mates. Due to being adaptable animals, survival is relatively consistent in the different seasons these animals face. As seasons change, coyotes adapt to survive another day and another season.
Coyotes’ Adaptive Behavior and Strategies
Campaigns to eradicate the presence of coyotes have been going on for decades. Exterminating these animals began in the 1930s, specifically from the West. As people saw coyotes as threats to their homes, crops, livestock, and pets, coyotes were branded as community enemies.
Over 6.5 million coyotes have either died from shooting or poisoning. Despite all of these imminent dangers and pressure on the survival of coyotes, these animals develop adaptive behaviors to fight back against these kinds of pressure.
One of these behaviors is that female coyotes produce more pups if they sense pressure in their population. Instead of having an average of five to six pups, female coyotes can produce up to 16 pups.
Even if their population decreases rapidly, their numbers can easily swing back. Another adaptive behavior of these animals is that their social behaviors are flexible. For example, coyotes will travel in packs during winter to hunt and take on larger prey. However, if there is an ongoing eradication campaign, coyotes will split up and travel alone. These adaptive strategies keep them surviving every single day.
Bryan Harding is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and a member of the American Birding Association. Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Bryan serves as owner, writer, and publisher of North American Nature.