Coyote Information

Coyotes in Clarendon Hills? Yes
Over the past several years, coyote sightings have become more prevalent within the village and surrounding communities. Although you may be shocked to see a coyote running through the village it is not unusual. Due to the rapid loss of habitat by development, many coyotes have found themselves forced to cohabit with humans.

Where do they live?
Coyotes are typically found in bushy areas, wooded edges, and open grasses - they are not found in heavily wooded areas, as many people believe. They also can be seen occasionally walking down a village street. Coyotes like to travel along trails, paths, and waterways. They are most active at night, but are often seen during the day, especially in the summer when their pups are more active. Coyotes sometimes hunt in family units but often alone or in male/female pairs. They do not form “packs” like their wolf cousins.


What do they eat?

The diet of coyotes consists of mostly small mammals including mice, rabbits, and moles but will also eat fruits and vegetables, especially in the fall. Coyotes rarely kill prey larger than themselves.

Do they attack humans?

Statistics from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources call attacks on humans extremely rare, with only 16 documented cases in all of North America in the last 30 or so years. The majority of these cases occurred when people tried to hand feed the animals.
  • Residents with small pets (less than 20 pounds) should supervise them while outdoors as you would a small child.
  • Always use a leash when walking your dog. Retractable leashes are not recommended as they tend to jam and can make it difficult for you to reel in your pet from a predator.
Coyotes have a natural fear of humans and will be less likely to approach a pet which is secured to a leash with the owner present. Residents need to keep their dogs on leashes and supervise them when they are outdoors at dusk and after dark, and keep their cats indoors.

What should I do?

Following these simple precautions will reduce the risk of a coyote or other wild animal to prey on your pets.


  • Do not leave food out for coyotes or other wildlife
  • People who feed wild animals are creating a potentially dangerous situation. Wild animals are smart to recognize that people are the source of their food.
  • They will become less fearful of humans and will tend to approach more often, potentially becoming a hazard for children and pets.
  • Parents should educate their children on how to identify and stay away from coyotes and other wildlife.
  • If possible, keep your garbage cans in the garage.
  • Keep your yard clean of debris piles, a source for hiding dens.
  • When letting your dog out at dusk or after dark, check the yard for any type of wild animal. Dogs should never be let off the leash when there is a presence of coyote in the area. If you know there are coyote in the area remain in the yard with your dog.
  • Turn lights on and make some noise in order to scare off any possible wild animal that may be in the immediate area.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

According to Bob Bluett from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, trying to reduce and “control” the coyote population (i.e., create a “vacuum”), will not work. He states, “Coyote reduction has not worked in about 250 years and it’s not likely to work now or in the future.” He states that, ‘holes’ created by an animal’s death are almost always filled within three to four weeks, thus, attempts to keep coyotes out of an area must be intense and unrelenting.” The Village of Clarendon Hills does not participate in trapping of coyote in and around the village.

Coyote Facts

  • 80 percent of a coyote’s diet is comprised of mice and other rodents. They are nature’s version of rodent control. They are omnivores and eat watermelons, insects, apples, dog food from back porches, and fish.
  • A coyote will have a personal range of 2,000 to 10,000 acres.
  • Coyotes are monogamous and mate for life.
  • Coyotes are not endangered.
  • Coyotes are timid animals with a natural fear of humans. They are curious animals and may watch you from a distance. Usually they will run from you long before you see them.
  • Killing a coyote may actually increase the population the following year.

Coyotes Appearance

  • Runs with tail downward and may attain speeds of 40 miles per hour
  • Approximately 24 inches tall and weigh between 20 and 50 pounds
  • Bushy, blacked tipped tail
  • Dark band down their back
  • Lives in a burrow
  • Long, coarse fur
  • Sometimes mistaken for a German Shepherd or a Husky
  • Yellowish gray with a whitish throat and belly

​More Information

You can find out more from the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County at