Can coyotes climb trees? Let’s find out

You may find yourself thinking from time to time, can coyotes climb trees? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one, I too have had the very same thought. Coyotes can be an annoyance for a number of reasons, mainly because they have been known to attack adults and children but mainly pets. Although these occurrences are rare, it is something that can be in the back of your mind.

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Table of Contents

Can coyotes climb trees?

Yes, they absolutely can! They usually do it because they have found a source of food. Coyotes are part of the “Canine family”… And why is this significant? In comparison to the “Felidae family,” they aren’t as good at climbing trees. The strong hind legs of canines enable them to travel long distances but not climb well. Whereas cats have muscles in their hindquarters and back, as well as sharp claws that they use for leverage, which allows them to climb trees more efficiently.

Why do coyotes climb trees?

Well, I briefly touched on it in my explanation above but I believe it is down to two reasons. The first is a source of food. Food is a high commodity for any living creature in the wild, so if there is a chance that they can get their paws on small prey, they will go for it.

I have seen many videos online where coyotes climb people’s apple trees to eat the fruit. Now I say climb in the loosest way possible. Most of the time, it’s more of a jump. Incredibly, coyotes are able to jump as high as 3ft which makes it more than attainable for them to jump onto one of the low-hanging branches of a tree.

The second reason is to escape. If a coyote finds itself in a situation where it feels threatened, the best way to get away is by climbing up high and out of harm’s way. Although they can run great distances if they can find a tree that they are able to latch onto, they will if can keep them out of harm’s way of cougars or wolves.

coyote climb

How can I prevent coyotes from entering my yard?

If you live in an area where coyotes are seen frequently, the best way to prevent them from entering your yard is by building a fence, obvious I know!

I would recommend an 8ft wooden fence as coyotes are very agile so will quite often find ways to clamber on top of fences that are lower than this. You could also try using chicken wire around the base of the fence to make it even more difficult for them to dig under.

Another good way to keep coyotes out is by removing any food sources that might attract them into your yard in the first place. This means picking up any fallen fruit from trees, keeping pet food indoors and not leaving any uneaten food outside. If they can’t find anything to eat, they are less likely to stick around.

You could also try installing motion sensor lights or sprinklers as these have been known to scare coyotes away. The more you disturb their normal hunting patterns the higher the chance is that they will move on to somewhere else.

Are coyotes easy to identify?

Coyotes are actually pretty hard to identify. We have heard stories where people believed they had four wolves on their front porch! This wasn’t the case. Coyotes are often mistaken for wolves because of their similarities. They are both parts of the Canine family and have a similar shape.

Their weights are usually overestimated. Female coyotes usually weigh around 33lbs, whereas males weigh up to 44lbs. So why do people think coyotes are bigger? Why do people say that they saw a coyote that was larger than 80lbs?

The reason is because of their fur. Their massive pelts can give off the appearance that they are larger than they actually are. These natural pelts can add a lot of weight, whereas, in reality, they are actually pretty scrawny animals. But I still wouldn’t want to fight one…

Are coyotes carnivores?

This is actually a trick question believe it or not. In my opinion, they are more of a “flexitarian” than an outright “carnivore”. And what does this term imply? They are really adaptable when it comes to their food choices. This means they will eat just about anything that is available to them.

By definition, they are carnivores, as the vast majority of their diet is meat. But they are also known to eat plums, mock apples and all other stuff that seasonally grows. They also eat a lot of grasshoppers and insects in the fall, which in my opinion, is pretty handy!

So the coyote population is extremely adaptable when it comes to their diet, which is probably one of the reasons why they have been able to survive for so long.

coyote attacks

Can coyotes injure my dog?

When I coyote sees your dog running around your yard, what do you think their initial thought is? Competition! They may see your dog as a potential threat to their food source and territory.

It’s not just dogs that they see as a threat, but anything else that they deem as competition, such as other coyotes. This is why you will sometimes hear stories of them fighting. But be rest assured, this is usually only between two males during mating season.

Again, if you want to prevent coyotes from injuring your dog, the best way is to build a fence. If you have a small dog, I would also recommend keeping them on a leash when they are outside.

Coyotes are wary of humans

There is a noticeable behaviour difference between coyotes in rural areas compared to those in more urban surroundings.

Rural coyotes are usually only observed at a distance, where they can keep an eye on you. In most situations, they will be hidden. Coyotes from these areas are generally a bit more skittish in their actions.

Now, what about their behaviour in more urban areas? Their behaviour of course changes quite dramatically. They become a lot more fearless and are often seen roaming around in broad daylight. It’s not uncommon for them to dismiss humans, especially if there is food involved.

So we can draw the conclusion that the difference between urban and rural coyotes is all down to learnt behaviour. The reason for this dramatic change is namely because of guns. In urban areas, guns cannot be utilized as frequently, thus they are more secure in their environment. In rural areas, weapons can be used to kill coyotes, which might explain why they can run off so readily.

coyotes are usually wary of humans

Conclusion

So now you know that coyotes can absolutely climb trees, whilst you have also learnt a little more about their behaviour. So let’s summarise:

  • Coyotes can climb trees
  • They are not natural climbers and usually jump on lower hanging branches
  • They utilize trees to find food sources such as fruit or small prey
  • Potential danger or threat to life is a reason why they climb
  • Coyotes are not as easy as you think to identify
  • They have similarities to wolves but are nowhere near as large
  • They have thick fur
  • They are carnivorous but more accurately described as flexitarians meaning they will eat whatever food is available
  • They can climb fences so you need to erect one which is at least 8ft
  • They can injure dogs as they see them as competition
  • They are wary of humans although their behaviour changes depending on if you are in an urban or rural area
coyotes will climb tree trunks if needed
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Oliver Wright

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