The Eastern Coyote is bigger then the Western Coyote, not by much though. The distinction between the Eastern and Western Coyote species is in weight and DNA samples, not much else separates them. Speaking about DNA, biologist note the relationship between the Grey Wolf and the Western Coyote found specifically in Southeastern Canada to be a very good match. Existing records suggest the hybridization occurred some time around the mid 1800s at about the same time they began moving eastward. While the Eastern Coyote is not as big as the Grey Wolf their family units occupy a greater territory then do their relatives, the Western Coyote. Much has been written about “packs” but the Coyotes are comprised of “family units” which is another separation factor between it and the Wolves. Readers will want to keep the concept of “family units” in mind as this blog contributes future postings.
The Hybrid Wolf/Coyote did not exist before Europeans migrated to the New World. The Eastern Coyote was noticed in the North Eastern areas of the United States about 1930 and has expanded its territory through out the eastern states all the way South to Virginia. Interestingly, the Eastern Coyote was not known to be a problem until the 1980s and 90s. It was about that time urban developments expanded making urbanites and coyotes unlikely neighbors.
As has been written in previous issues of the Coyote Cam, Coyotes easily adapt. Home owners bring a lot to the Coyote in terms of easy food and shelter. Look around you. How many bird feeders do you see? How many pet food bowls do you know are left out on the porch? See any garbage cans with debris stacked along side them? Do you see cats or dogs running about the neighborhood? Anyone have firewood stacked close by? What about that park not far from where you live? Coyotes have been known to paw the area below birdfeeders to eat the dropped birdfeed. Oh yeah, that dropped birdfeed also draws mice and other varmints which the coyote will devour without a second thought. Records and neck tags trace Coyotes daily lives which reveal they wait to cross streets until the vehicle traffic is in their favor. The Coyotes will travel to an area with high grass and make a den for its family. It doesn’t have to be high grass either, a wood pile or w washed out paved parking lot will do too. Coyotes adapt and survive!
Thanks for your time – Stay Tuned, their is more to come on the Coyote Cam!