Coyotes’ Top 5 Favorite Foods

What do coyotes eat? They are canines, so obviously, they like meat, but what if it is not available? Will they eat other things like grasses or roots? While they prefer their larger meat sources, coyotes are opportunistic and will dine on insects, fruits, and berries when necessary to supplement their diets. But, what if a coyote could pick his top 5 favorite foods? What would they be?


Deer provide a large amount of food at one time for a coyote and his pack. Deer meat is a lean source of protein that keep the coyote full and provides him with long lasting energy. These deer are usually hunted by groups of two or three coyotes and are approached head on. Instead of chasing the deer from behind like some predators might, the coyote gains an advantage by attacking from the front. By enveloping the deer in the attack head first, the coyotes lessen the chance of the deer’s escape. This also give them a better vantage point from which to kill the deer.

Rabbits and Rodents

While smaller than deer, rabbits and rodents are just as delicious in the mind of the coyote. Coyotes will chase and pounce on these smaller animals alone and feast on them solo. While these animals also provide plenty of protein, they are smaller and more of them are required to fill the hungry coyote. Thankfully, many coyotes form relationships with badgers in which the coyote will use the badger hole to find smaller rodents who are using the hole and trap and then eat them. Or, the coyote may wait to catch whatever small rodent the badger may be chasing out of his hole.

Small Livestock

Coyotes are opportunistic, and given the opportunity, will dine on animals that are intended for our dinner plate. Young, weak, or small livestock such as sheep, calves, goats, or foals may fall prey to a coyote who feel he or she can take the upper paw. These animals are usually enjoyed by packs as they provide larger amounts of food at one time.


Wile Coyote enjoys eating birds of many feather, including the roadrunner,  if he can catch them. Just about any bird will do just as long as the coyote can get his mouth on it. These are more of a challenge for obvious physical reasons, but they appear in the coyote’s diet quite frequently.

Lizards, Snakes, and Fish

Coyotes are not picky eaters. Their food does not have to have fur or feathers for them to enjoy it. In fact, it can even swim, and the coyote will still make a feast for itself. Scales won’t stop a coyote from devouring an animal, either. Snakes and fish make regular appearances in the coyote’s belly. As do lizards who are unlucky enough to scurry past a hungry coyote who is ready to pounce.
All in all, coyotes are far from picky when it comes to what they eat. Their diverse food selections allow them to be adaptable in many harsh conditions and to survive in many diverse climates. As long as their food provides some protein, they are likely to eat it. And in situations where another animal isn’t available, the coyote can adapt to eating berries and fruit to get by. If animals had social media, coyotes would be the food bloggers of the forest.