A white and yellow, moon-lit coyote on a black background, with the words "The trickster howls, yips -a risk-taker in cities. Making friends and foes."

Known to hybridize with their close dog and wolf relatives, coyotes’ careful, mysterious, and, well, tricky nature is no surprise to most of us. Over time, their range has expanded to include most cities across the continent. While coyotes are admired and even steeped in mythology in some circles, their propensity for stealing farm animals has led them to be despised and hunted in rural areas.

These complex canines have different personalities depending on where they live! In larger cities, they tend to take more risks, which may serve them well in finding food. And even though they aren’t always on their best behavior, we aren’t either. 

About the Author

In addition to being an arachnologist and the associate provost of Teaching and Academic Programs at McGill University, Chris Buddle is an artist, writer, and lover of life. Each month, Chris shares an illustration and haiku of some of the natural wonders found in this beautiful world.

Check our facts! 

Breck SW, PA Poessel, P Mahoney, JK Young. 2019. The intrepid urban coyote: a comparison of bold and exploratory behavior in coyotes from urban and rural environments. Scientific Reports 9:2104 | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-38543-5 

Hody JW, R Kays. 2018. Mapping the expansion of coyotes (Canis latrans) across North and Central America. Zookeys 759: 81-97