Coyote Size & Appearance

How do you know it’s a coyote?

Identifying Characteristics: Pointed ears, a bushy tail, and a long slender snout

Pointed, upright ears, a long slender snout, and a bushy tail are identifying characteristics to look for.

Coyotes in Georgia generally weigh between 25 – 45 lbs. as adults, with an average weight of approximately 30 lbs. Most people overestimate their size.

They are smaller than wolves but larger than foxes. As one would expect, females are usually smaller than males, and juveniles smaller than adults.

Coyote Tracks

The two most common signs of coyotes are tracks and scat (feces).  Coyote paw prints are generally oval shaped and show claw marks from only the two central claws. The front paws are larger and have bigger footpads than the rear paws.  Pups leave smaller prints than adults.

Adult Coyote Paw

Adult Coyote Paw

Paw Print of Adult Coyote

Paw Print of Adult Coyote

Coyote Paw Print

 Print of Coyote Pup’s Hind Foot

Coyote Scat

Coyote Scat

Coyote Scat

Coyote scat is usually found along pathways or trails.  It tends to be tapered at the ends, contains fur, small bone fragments, and/or seeds, and generally has little odor.

Coyotes vary in appearance

Coat color can vary widely, even among pups born to the same parents, and it can also change throughout the year as the coyote sheds or adds fur. Coyotes in the southeast range in color from orange/red to tan to gray to black.

As in other canids, the thickness of the coat changes with the seasons, a feature which can cause a coyote to appear larger at certain times of the year.

© 2015 Atlanta Coyote Project