Foxes and coyotes are both wild canids found in the United States and Canada, but there are several key differences between them. Both species have similar physical characteristics and can be difficult to tell apart, but their behavior, habitats, and diets set them apart.
Foxes are smaller in size than coyotes, with most species measuring between 2 and 3 feet long and weighing between 6 and 15 pounds. They have long, thin legs and a narrow muzzle, and their fur is typically orange-red with white on the chest, belly, and chin. In contrast, coyotes are larger, measuring between 3 and 4 feet long and weighing between 15 and 50 pounds. They have a more robust body, with a wide muzzle and short, stout legs. Their fur is usually grayish-brown, with yellowish-tan fur on the back and sides.
Behaviorally, foxes are more solitary animals, while coyotes are social and can often be seen in pairs or packs. Foxes will usually hunt alone and prefer to hunt during the night, while coyotes are more active during the day and hunt in small groups. Foxes are more timid and are more likely to flee from humans, while coyotes are more aggressive and may approach humans.
The habitat preferences of foxes and coyotes also differ. Foxes prefer habitats with plenty of cover, such as forests, woodlands, and grasslands. They also inhabit suburban and urban areas. Coyotes, on the other hand, are more adaptable and can live in a variety of habitats, including deserts and grasslands.
When it comes to their diets, foxes are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, such as fruits, insects, small mammals, birds, and eggs. Coyotes, on the other hand, are mainly carnivores and will hunt larger animals, such as rabbits, raccoons, and deer. They will also scavenge for carrion and eat fruits and plants.
In conclusion, foxes and coyotes are both wild canids found in North America, but there are several key differences between them. Foxes are generally smaller and more solitary, while coyotes are larger and social. Foxes prefer habitats with plenty of cover, while coyotes are more adaptable and can live in a variety of habitats. The diets of foxes and coyotes also differ, with foxes being omnivores and coyotes being mainly carnivorous.
Difference in Appearance
The most noticeable difference between foxes and coyotes is their size. Coyotes are much larger than foxes, typically weighing between 20 and 50 pounds compared to the fox’s average weight of 10 pounds. Coyotes also have longer legs and broader snouts than foxes, and their fur is usually a grayish-brown color, as opposed to the fox’s reddish-brown or grayish-white fur. Additionally, foxes typically have black-tipped tails, whereas coyotes often have black-tipped or white-tipped tails.
Coyotes also have much larger ears than foxes. This is due to their heightened sense of hearing; coyotes rely on their hearing to detect potential prey. Coyotes also have a more pronounced facial mask in comparison to foxes. The mask is a darker fur pattern that extends from the eyes to the sides of the snout and is used to camouflage the coyote in the wild.
Difference in Habitat and Behavior
Foxes and coyotes also differ in their preferred habitats. Foxes prefer to live in grasslands and woodlands, while coyotes can be found in grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, and even near urban areas. Coyotes are much more adaptable to various habitats than foxes, and as a result, they are more widespread across the United States.
Foxes and coyotes also have different behaviors. Foxes tend to be solitary creatures, while coyotes are more social and form packs. Foxes are primarily nocturnal, while coyotes are active both day and night. Foxes will typically hunt alone, while coyotes hunt in packs. Foxes tend to be timid and shy, while coyotes can be aggressive and territorial.
Difference in Diet
The diets of foxes and coyotes differ significantly. Foxes are mainly carnivores, and their diet consists of small rodents, birds, reptiles, and insects. They will also occasionally eat fruit, berries, and grasses. Coyotes, on the other hand, are omnivores, meaning they will eat both plants and animals. Their diet mainly consists of small mammals, such as rabbits, squirrels, and mice, but they will also feed on birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and various fruits and berries.
Coyotes will also hunt larger animals if the opportunity arises, such as deer, elk, and wild sheep. In addition, coyotes will scavenge for carrion and eat garbage if it is easily accessible. Foxes are known to scavenge as well, but they are not as opportunistic as coyotes when it comes to finding food.