Where Do Coyotes Live? Exploring Their Dens and Habitats

Coyotes are medium-sized members of the canine family. They are known for their cleverness, cunningness, and good physical capabilities. Coyotes are also unique in their living place. They change their place of residence from one location to another according to the harshness of the weather at any particular location. That’s why they have also been declared highly adaptable animals. Nowadays, it has become very important to find out about their lifestyle like coyote habitat, living location, and coyote dens. In this article, we are going to explore in detail the actual location of coyote dens. After reading this article, you will be quite clear about where do coyotes live.

Where do coyotes live: dens & habitats
Coyotes live in different types of places.

Where do coyotes live?

There is no one kind of place where you can pinpoint the presence of coyotes. They have a very diverse and vast population. That’s why it has become extremely difficult to predict their behavior. Coyotes make dens at very secret places which they most of the time utilize during mating season. These dens are utilized for the nourishing of the coyote pups. These dens exist in various forms.

Some of the most common forms are hollowed trees, rock outcrops, and burrows of animals like raccoons, skunks, badgers, etc. They are very good at digging and they also prefer to dig their own dens. They also like to cover their dens with things like remaining plants, trees, and some draining slopes. Generally, they like to sleep in the open fields or on the branches of trees.

What does a coyote den look like?

What does a coyote den look like
Coyote den in rocks.

Coyote dens are mainly dug before mating season. Both parents usually participate in this process. They usually dig deep dens on the hillsides or steep banks. They also conceal the way of their dens with some brushes or remains of plants. It is dug very deep and you can reach the chamber after passing through various tunnels. In the chambers, mothers usually take care of their children.

They also expand the size of their dens with the help of hollow logs, culverts, and heaps of rocks. They select the location of the dens where there is a minimum possible human activity. Sometimes they also relocate from one area to another if they see a lot of disturbance in any particular area. They also like to reuse their dens at different times of the year. If coyotes are living in urban or suburban areas, they prefer to make their dens on the roads, parking, and public houses.

The coyote den inside usually has several chambers filled with materials like leaves, grasses, feathers, and fur. These materials are mainly utilized for making beds. It keeps them safe from predators. They also make some shallow depressions at the entrance of their dens as temporary resting places. These places are used for keeping an eye on any potential threat coming towards them.

The overall coyote den size depends upon the total number of members of the family. They also expand the den size according to the size of their family. On average, the size of the den is usually 2 to 7 feet deep and 4 to 12 feet wider. They also make several dens in their territorial range for easy movement from one area to another. Most coyote dens are usually located near ravines and very dense bushy areas.

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What does a coyote’s den look like from the inside?

Different types of coyote dens

There are mainly two different types of coyote dens named natural and man-made dens. Let’s discuss these dens one by one.

Natural dens

Coyote natural den in tree log.
Coyote natural den in tree log.

Natural dens are underground dens that are mainly found in wooded areas. The entrance of these dens is covered with the mount of dirt. These dens are usually made in already existing crevices on the ground or burrows left by animals like badgers and foxes. These dens are found in areas having very thick vegetation cover. Coyotes may utilize hollow trees and rock crevices for making these kinds of dens.

Man-made dens

These dens are made in the open fields and have more entrances and exits on these dens. The entrance of these dens is covered with some material. These dens are made in already existing man-made structures and made their human dwellings. You can trace the signs of these dens near places like sheds, barns, and big buildings.

How do coyotes choose dens in urban areas?

A coyote living in an urban area.
A coyote living in an urban area.

In the wilderness, coyotes don’t make much fuss about choosing the location of their dens. It is not the case in urban areas as they have to go through multiple things before settling somewhere. In urban areas, they don’t like to make dens near big rivers. They make dens at least 75 to 100 meters away from big rivers. But they don’t shy away from making dens near small rivers to fulfill their water needs.

They also don’t like to make near very highly traffic roads and areas having mowed grass. They also make dens in such a direction that they can directly get the sunlight or sun rays in the early spring. The sloppy areas are also preferred for making dens in the urban areas as these areas are not easily accessible for human beings as well as other dangerous animals. These areas give you a good view.

Coyotes have also been found making dens in places where they can get a good cover for themselves. That’s why we have witnessed these dens under shipping containers, shopping carts, and even in abandoned cars. Some dens were located near the trash dumps. Coyotes actually utilize the garbage by chewing it or using it as a playing tool for their pups.

Where does a Coyote Live: coyote’ habitat?

Coyotes are extremely sturdy and highly adaptable animals. They can survive in a variety of habitats. Generally, coyotes like to live in open fields, prairies, deserts, woodlands, coastlines, forests, and suburban and urban areas. Geographically, you can find these wild dogs throughout the different regions of North America. Some of the most common habitats of a coyote are given below:

Coyote in Desert

where do coyotes live in the desert
Coyotes also live in the desert.

Many people are raising the question that do coyotes live in the desert. Being highly adaptive creatures, coyotes can easily survive in hot desert-like places. They are not bothered by the hot blazing sun, heating sand, and chill night breezes of the deserts. You can witness a lot of coyotes in the Arizona desert.


Coyotes have also been able to establish their territories in the wetlands but not near the alligators. The coastal areas of eastern and northern Carolina are very well-known for their population of coyotes.


Coyotes are also very good swimmers and they can survive in the treeless areas of North America. You can find a very good population of the coyote in the Arctic Tundra. They are also thriving very well in the harsh environment of the tundra.


Coyote in the grassland of Saskatchewan.
Coyote in the grassland of Saskatchewan.

Grasslands are also very likable places where coyotes can live. You can find coyotes throughout all the grasslands of North America. Yellow stone national park of the USA has many such grasslands where you can find a lot of coyotes.

Coyotes in the Woods

Where do coyotes live in the woods
Coyotes have been making dens in the woods for a long time.

Coyotes have been living in the woodlands of North America throughout the different eras of history. They like to take cover in forests to keep them safe from predators. They like to make dens in the woodlands as it is quite easy to cover their dens in these places with the help of brushes.

Urban areas

The population of coyotes has expanded to our cities. They have also become bold by living with human beings for many years. You can find a lot of coyotes on the golf courses and parklands. They mainly expand their domain in search of food. If they don’t find enough food in the wilderness then they move towards the urban areas. They know they can find food as well as shelter in the urban areas easily.

Semi-urban areas

You can also witness the presence of the coyotes in the semi-urban areas especially farmlands where there are very large fields of greenery. These places also provide them with good areas to hide. They can fulfill their dietary needs easily in these semi-urban areas.

What kind of climate do coyotes prefer to live in?

Coyotes prefer to live in a moderate climate
Coyotes can survive in a variety of environments but they prefer to live in a moderate climate.

Coyotes are highly adaptable animals and they could survive in a variety of environments like deserts, forests, semi-arid areas, grasslands, etc. But they also prefer to live in regions where there is good vegetation cover, moderate temperature, and good precipitation tendencies.

They like to inhabit areas where the temperature is quite moderate in the range between 0 to 28 degrees Celsius. Moreover, they also prefer to live in areas where the weather is most of the time belongs as wet winter or dry summer. If there are enough food resources available, coyotes could easily survive for years in these areas.

The most preferable areas for the coyote to stay are woodlands and grasslands having a very dense shade of trees. Under these conditions and available resources, coyotes could easily be in any area whether it is wilderness or fully urban settings.

What is considered an ideal coyote habitat?

An ideal coyote habitat is where good cover and food are available for coyotes.
An ideal coyote habitat is where good cover and food are available for coyotes.

Generally, coyotes like to live in a different range of areas like deserts, woodlands, grasslands, and urban and semi-urban areas. Some areas are considered ideal for coyote habitat. Generally, they like to live in open fields where they can find good vegetation cover and food resources in the form of small mammals like rodents, rabbits, etc.

They also like to live near rivers and ponds to fulfill their drinking and bathing needs. There must also be good social opportunities for an ideal coyote habitat. They have a very complex family structure that demands good social dealing with each other. This kind of ideal habitat is necessary for their long-term survival and for maintaining the ecosystem.

Territorial range of urban coyotes

Coyotes have to cover and defend very large territories or areas in the wilderness which is approximately 5 to 15 square miles. They don’t have a very large territorial range in the urban areas. The average territorial size of the coyotes in urban areas is almost 3 square miles. They only come out at night in search of food in urban areas. There is also no overlapping occurring in the territorial range between one coyote to another in the urban areas.

Where do coyotes live in urban areas?

Once an urban coyote research project was conducted by the experts. They have observed the behaviors of coyotes for at least 6 years. In the end, they revealed that coyotes in urban areas don’t like to live in very established buildings. They always select the areas of metropolitan which are very close to nature. Generally, they come to vacated places in between cities where there is no rush and they can also reach the cities within a few minutes in search of food. The most suitable places in this regard are parks, gardens, and golf courses.

Find out: Do coyotes live in packs?

Where do coyotes sleep?

Coyotes generally come in the nocturnal category but they also come out in the daytime. However, they spend most of their day time by sleeping. Now, it comes to where they sleep. They could stay or sleep anywhere they find suitable in the places like hollow logs, rocks, tree branches, etc.

They make their own dens but they also like to occupy the dens of other animals like raccoons, badgers, foxes, and skunks. They also settled themselves in the places where they think they are safe from their predators. If they are raising pups then they stay in their dens. Otherwise, they could be anywhere in their territorial range.

Some strange facts about the coyotes

A coyote couple in snow
Coyotes like to mate for life with a single partner.
  • Coyotes are the same as human beings as they come with a very large family structure.
  • Coyote like to eat a variety of foods.
  • They like to mate for life with a single partner.
  • Both male and female coyotes raise their kids through joint efforts.
  • They also leave some place for their kids.
  • They are very gregarious animals.
  • They are very smart and communicate with the help of their scent markings as well as vocalization.

Frequently asked questions

Normally, coyotes don’t like to dig holes for making dens. They prefer to enlarge the existing holes dug by other animals like badgers and foxes. That’s why the dens of the coyotes are not very much different from the dens of other animals.

It is easy to find the coyote den in the wilderness or in urban or semi-urban areas. Coyotes usually make dens in hidden places like hollowed trees, rock outcrops, hollowed logs, swamps, and already existing burrows of other animals like skunks, badgers, and foxes. Coyote dens will also be covered by materials like remaining plants, trees, brushes, and drainage slopes.


Coyotes are medium-sized dogs who have almost the same dens and habitat which is utilized by other close-sized animals like badgers, skunks, foxes, etc. In this article, we have explained in detail where do coyotes live and what kind of habitat they like to prefer. We have also tried our best to cover all the other aspects related to coyote dens and habitats.

Izzy foxx on a vet tour in africa

Izzy Foxx

Izzy is an experienced ranch worker who has a passion for exploring nature and getting up close to wildlife. With her connections to various animal organizations, Izzy is well-versed in animal care and rehabilitation.

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