An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Coyote Breeding Season

2-18-14 coyote breeding season2  067February is the peak of Coyote mating season in the Northeast. Males cover a lot of ground at this time of year in search of females, so their tracks are relatively easy to find. If you follow them for any length of time, you are almost certain to be able to determine the gender of the Coyote you are following. Males mark incessantly (a raised leg often leaves urine several inches off the ground on a mound of snow or stump), and females in estrus leave tell-tale drops of blood. Tracks often lead to a spot that has been trampled – whether these tracks are a sign of males vying for a female, copulation, or both, I do not know, but they are not unusual to come upon in February. Now is also the time to listen for the duets of male and female Coyote pairs — they are known to howl together before mating.

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4 responses

  1. Suzanne Weinberg

    Mary, where are you located? Just discovered your blog, and I really enjoy its being daily and CONCISE! I’ve been seeing tons of great mink sign here in southern Vermont. I can send you some pics if you like. Classic!

    February 13, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    • Hi Suzanne, I would love to see your mink sign pictures — one or two would be great! My email address is mholland@vermontel.net. Glad you found the blog! Mary

      February 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm

  2. June

    John and I were skiing on Sawyer River Rd on 2/15/14 and noticed the urine markings all along the edge of snow left by the snowmobile groomer. The marks were either half way up or on top of the approximately 12-inch tall sidewall of snow. We also saw several spots of blood on the snow on the flat. We skied through several “bands” of heavy musk scent. We often encounter that scent, and I’ve always wondered how long does it stay detectable by the human nose (hours? days?)

    February 16, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    • Hi June,
      My experience has been hours…at least for red fox urine. Coyote I’m not sure, but I would guess hours as well, as it’s not nearly as potent (to the human nose, at least) as fox urine. Nice sightings!

      February 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm

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