Coyotes are Loyal to Love

A study of urban coyotes in Chicago shows that coyotes are loyal to their mates for life and never stray. 

Most canines do practice social monogamy, but may stray, or “cheat,” when high population density meets an abundance of food. Scientists are finding that coyotes remain faithful in the best and worst of times and only seek out a new partner when their previous one has died. Blood samples taken from urban coyotes in Chicago showed no genetic evidence of animals having more than one mate. They even observed one pair who stayed together for 10 years. 

February brings the start of the coyote mating season, which peaks in late February or early March. Most females typically start mating in their second year. A female typically mates for two to five days during this period. During mating season, coyotes might be a bit more “ornery,” so dog owners should take care to keep their pets on leash.

Their breeding season is the only time coyotes use dens, which are often in vacant fox or woodchuck burrows but can be under log or brush piles or in hollow trees or abandoned buildings. Litters are born in April and average six to seven pups. They’re fed by their mother for about a month, but after that, both parents bring food to the den. Male coyotes will continue to care for weaned young even if their partners die. 

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