Coyotes have gray or reddish-gray coats with buff underparts, long, rusty or yellowish legs, and a bushy tail. They have arresting yellow eyes and prominent ears. Average weight is 20-40 pounds.

The Life of a Coyote
The coyote may pair for life and each year up to 19 young are born. Eating almost anything it can chew, the coyote is an opportunistic and cunning hunter and will hunt and kill pet cats, dogs, and any other small pets left outdoors. It is normal to see coyotes in the city and they are often seen during the day. Known to run up to 40 mph, they often combine efforts with 1 or 2 others when running their prey. The typical den is a wide-mouthed tunnel, terminating in an enlarged nesting area.

Coyote's Feet
The coyote's paw prints closely resemble that of a dog or fox although the coyote tends to follow a straight path across open areas where the others will wander or follow aspects of the landscape. The print is a rough oval shape with 4 toes bearing claw prints. The larger front foot has a much larger pad than the smaller rear foot.

Coyote Presence in Falls Church
Coyotes have been documented in every county in Virginia and are a common sight in Fairfax county, the Town of Vienna, and Fairfax city. For more information, or to report a coyote attack, contact Falls Church Animal Control at 703-248-5172 or the Falls Church Police Department at 703-241-5052.

Coyote Characteristics
  • Usually they're tails are long bushy and black-tipped. Their tails are generally pointed downward.
  • They have a long slender snout.
  • Coyotes are nocturnal predators. However they are occasionally active during daylight hours. (Specifically dawn and dusk.)
  • They have pointed and erect ears.
  • They are covered in relatively long, thick fur. The colors can vary from blond, light reddish-brown or tan, grayish black, or black with a small white spot in the center of the chest.
  • Usually they typically weigh 25-40 pounds.
Approaching a coyote may provoke an encounter if the animal feels cornered or restricted in movement. This is particularly true of coyotes that have become accustomed to human activities as a result of being fed, or because of access to a readily available food source.

Food Sources
  • Garden Plants
  • Pet Food
  • Refuse
  • Small Pets
  • Wildlife
Safety Tips
Residents are asked to exercise precaution outdoors. A few tips to do so:
  • Never leave pet cats, rabbits, and small dogs unattended or unrestrained.
  • Close or eliminate pet doors.
  • Keep all pet food indoors.
  • Secure refuse cans and lids.
  • Never approach, feed, trap or corner coyotes.
  • Make loud noises, but do not run in the presence of coyotes.