Closely related to wolves, coyotes are species of canines that are native to North America. They mostly inhabit plains, forests, and mountains.
Yet, coyotes are very versatile and can adapt to different human environments. Known as good hunters, coyotes would prey on different animals.
But can they hunt birds? Do coyotes eat birds?
The short answer is yes – coyotes do eat birds. Coyotes are omnivores animals, and they eat both animal and plant matter food. However, coyotes prefer eating meat, yet they tend to eat land animals more often than birds. Birds are not as easy prey, and coyotes will eat birds only if they get the chance.
Do coyotes eat birds?
Coyotes are very adaptive and opportunistic animals, and they will eat almost anything available, just like most wildlife. Ranchers and farmers find them very destructive pests because they eat different livestock, fruits, and pets.
However, coyote’s favorite food consists of small animals, such as rabbits, squirrels, mice, and voles, among others. Occasionally they will feed on bigger young animals, like lambs and calves.
Now, when it comes to birds, coyotes would not regularly hunt them.
In fact, coyotes will mostly eat bigger birds that are slower or that nest near the ground. They often eat turkeys, swans, geese, chickens, and pelicans.
Do coyotes eat hawks?
Yes, coyotes eat hawks, but not as often. These scavengers would eat anything that can get their paws on. More often than not, hawks and coyotes coexist in the same habitat.
Yet, the only possible way for coyotes to catch the hawk is when it is on the ground or very close to the coyote’s reach. Otherwise, coyotes are unable to catch them.
As a result, coyotes would mostly eat hawks that are young and unable to fly or injured ones.
Do coyotes eat owls?
The same goes for owls – if coyotes get the opportunity to catch and eat owls, they’ll certainly do. Also, both coyotes and owls are more active during the night. And so, there is a higher probability for these two species to encounter.
Besides eating old or weak owls, coyotes also may take the opportunity when owls are hunting on the ground, so they catch them by surprise.
However, as we mentioned earlier, coyotes have been evolved for hunting small land mammals, and they will always eat them before owls or any other birds.
Do coyotes eat eagles?
In the wild, coyotes and eagles are competitors, and more often than not, they will fight over an animal carcass.
Still, coyotes do not eat eagles. Eagles are huge, and coyotes are unable to prey upon.
Outside of humans, adult eagles have no natural predators. Eagles nests high above the ground, so juveniles are also safe from coyotes.
In fact, eagles are the ones that may eat coyotes, not the way around. Still, this is also not as often, and eagles will only on occasion hunt and eat coyotes. Also, eagles will rarely attack adult coyotes, and they would only target small pups.
Do coyotes eat dead birds?
For most of what they eat, coyotes hunt by themselves. Still, they are known for their scavenging behavior; they’ll eat any animal carrion they find. And bird corpse is not an exception to this.
Although coyotes prefer fresh meat, sometimes dead birds are the perfect meal for them. Especially during wintertime, when food is scarce.
They get their food without consuming any energy. It is easier to eat something that is not moving than the animal that is trying to run away.
Do coyotes eat bird eggs?
Yes, coyotes eat bird eggs. These opportunistic creatures will eat just about anything that can provide them any nutrition value.
Bird eggs are high in protein and rich in different nutrients, so coyotes would gladly eat any bird eggs if they get the opportunity.
Coyotes can’t climb trees, but they can jump pretty high, and they are known to target bird nests that are low to the ground.
Do coyotes eat bird seed?
Coyotes do eat birdseed. Even though they are omnivores, coyotes prefer eating meat more.
Yet, their food intake heavily depends on the season. For example, during autumn, when fruits are more available, coyotes would spend a lot of time eating fruits and vegetables.
Bird seed is made of different ingredients such as corn, sunflower, fruits, and it can attract coyotes.
Besides attracting coyotes, bird seed may be an invitation for rodents, which are natural enemies of coyotes, so all of a sudden, there are two species of critters in your yard.
Apart from birdseed, coyotes will also take advantage of discarded food such as garbage cans or dog food.
So, the best thing you can do to keep coyotes away from your yard is to keep the food off the ground. Make sure that birdseed is not accessible to rodents and that the ground is clean.
Also, pick up all the fruits that are fallen on the ground and make sure that trash cans are closed and firmly secured.
When it comes to food, coyotes aren’t picky. They will eat anything they can find or hunt.
In case they get the opportunity, coyotes will eat birds and their eggs. Coyotes eat all kinds of birds, but they would more often hunt and eat birds that are either injured or immature.