Where Do Coyotes Sleep in Winter?

January 8, 2024

When it comes to winter, animals have a lot of strategies for survival. Some go into hibernation or slow down their metabolisms. Others, like coyotes, are adaptable predators that can survive the season by hunkering down in dens or other places to cut down on their metabolic activity and conserve energy.

Coyotes are diurnal creatures, so they spend the majority of their time at night hunting, gathering food and securing shelter. Often, they can be heard howling at night as well. If you live on a rural property, it’s not uncommon to encounter a pack of coyotes. These nocturnal predators are very adaptable, and they have adapted to survive in almost any environment, including the backyards of people living in cities and towns.

While it’s common to think that coyotes hide away in their dens in the winter, this is not always true. During pup season, they will make a den for their young but, for the rest of the year, they prefer to sleep above ground in open spaces with cover and shade, such as a rock outcrop or a hollowed-out tree stump. They usually select areas that are on a slope for drainage and have bushes or other shrubbery nearby to provide some form of protection.

Coyotes are also able to use existing dens, such as those made by other animals like badgers and skunks or abandoned burrows from squirrels or rabbits. They will often enlarge these to accommodate them and make a comfortable bed for themselves. During the day, they may move around in search of food, but as soon as it’s dark, they return to their beds for a good night’s sleep.


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