By raincoat, in this instance, I mean a coat that has been impacted by the heavy rains. This coat isn’t wet, but the top appears to be much darker in color than usual, and it is matted down in a way that makes it look like one of those doggie raincoats that many owners buy for their pets!

Change of Appearance Due to Shedding

Coyote winter coats, thick and fluffy gray with strong black markings, are now being shed as the weather changes. Note the heavy winter coat above left, and the coyote to the right who is in the process of shedding this coat. The coyote’s new coat is shorter and darker, and the markings are not as intense. Also, as more winter fur is shed, the same coyote will appear much thinner. The change is so different that it makes it very possible to mistake it for being a different coyote, but in fact it is one and the same. I’ll try to add a third photo when the shedding is complete in mid-June.

The first two photos show the heavier winter coat. The third shows that coat thinning out, leaving a darker, more uniform colored coat. The last section of the coat to shed will be the neck area: a coyote in June often looks like it has a mane!

A Coyote’s Appearance Changes Over Time

I’ve become aware that over time, a coyote’s appearance can change considerably. One of the coyotes which I have been following over time would have been absolutely unrecognizable to me from when I first encountered her, were it not for the fact that I’ve kept up with her — her behavior remains the same. I thought it might be interesting to post some photos to show the change.

This coyote went through a change of color from browner to more silver, her markings became more prominent, facial look filled out so that the ears and eyes don’t appear as prominent as before, she grew a winter coat in the fall which she will shed in the springtime — this makes her appear larger, she gained weight in the fall — could this be due to aging or is it cyclical?

Note that in photo #1, taken in June, she is very thin, and she actually had a “mane” on her neck from her shoulders up to her head. Over the next few months this was shed — it may be that she sheds this part of her coat last. The first three photos were taken in the summer. She had been cooped up in her den with newborn pups prior to these summer months — we know this because she was obviously lactating when she emerged, and her body fat had obviously been depleted. The last three photos were taken the following fall and winter — she gained weight and she had a winter coat. I think all the changes I have noted here are due to aging, the seasonal changes and to being a mother.