Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


Coyote's Diet

i Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The classic coyote diet is varied, and -- surprise -- it consists of a lot more than just meat. Coyotes, omnivores, are not choosy about what they put in their mouths. In fact, among coyote favorites are birds, deer, lizards, rabbits, grass, snakes, rodents, fish and bugs.

Meat Preference

Coyotes are technically omnivorous animals, according to "National Geographic." Despite their overall omnivorous nature, their emphasis is very strongly on meat. Small mammals compose a big portion of the coyote diet, although coyotes also frequently prey on bigger creatures such as calves and lamb. The decaying carcasses of other large animals are a major element to a coyote diet, whether moose, bison or elk. However, when given the choice, most coyotes tend to opt for fresh meat rather than carrion.


Coyotes are serious scavengers through and through. In areas that have high coyote populations, residents may notice them going through garbage bins and even taking away pet food left outdoors. Because of this, coyotes are often a serious risk to pets. If a coyote views a pet as competition for sustenance, he may initiate an aggressive physical attack, which can be fatal. If you reside in an area with a lot of coyotes, always be careful when it comes to your pet and leaving any food outside.

Fruits and Vegetables

Though coyotes have a voracious appetite for meat, they also are perfectly content to chow down on a variety of other things -- whatever they can seem to track down, for the most part. Fruit, in particular, is a coyote staple, whether melons or persimmons. During the autumn and winter months, coyotes spend a lot of time consuming vegetables and fruits, especially berries. Coyote dietary patterns vary throughout different times of the year.

Zoo Environment Diet

Coyotes that reside in zoo environments follow controlled daily diets -- think small rodents, vegetables and fruits, chicken and even dry canine food.


Due to the coyote penchant for hunting down and consuming livestock, farmers frequently consider the members of the dog family to be destructive nuisances.