When Do Coyotes Come Out at Night?

Coyotes are dog-like animals from the dog family but stronger than a dog and smaller than a fox. They are found in both rural and urban settings. Their behavior depends solely on the setting they find themselves.

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Very sensitive to danger, Coyotes move in pairs or pack when need be, to avoid being easily attacked and defeated. They are primarily nocturnal and when the full moon appears they howl at the moon because they feel exposed and need to signal to others in case of any danger so they know when to attack.


Though Coyotes are primarily nocturnal, they are also diurnal depending on the area ( urban/rural) they are in and the circumstances they are faced with. They can switch and adjust from nocturnal to diurnal if need be, for safety. Their appearance is also dependent on the availability of sunlight, they do not like sunlight. They are very safety conscious and will attack once they feel threatened.

When Coyotes Come Out at Night?

Generally, Coyotes do not have a particular time they come out at night. This is because weather varies from location to location. Some locations have more sunlight while sometimes, there are longer days and shorter nights, vice versa. 

Coyotes do not like sunlight so they are mostly out from dusk to dawn hunting for food and prey. Whenever they are out, their primary aim is to hunt for food for themselves and their cub and when there is no prey in sight, they improvise with wild berries and fruits.


In rural areas, coyotes might not come out at night because of the dangers of being preyed on. At night, hunters will be out hunting and they might fall for the hunters. Other predators may also appear at night, so the rural coyotes may choose to become more diurnal than nocturnal for safety.

In urban areas, Coyotes have more tendencies of coming out at night because at night, there are fewer people. Since they live close to people in urban areas, they are more scared of coming out during the day than at night.


Coyotes, though very powerful, are scared of human beings, noise from cars, and a lot of other things. However, they do not attack humans unless they feel threatened by humans. They attack not because they want to but because when threatened, their defensive mechanism is aggressive attack. They are also very protective of their cubs and will attack if they need to attack to protect them. If you see a coyote in your yard, do not attack or send your dog after them, because they will attack back. When you see a coyote, do not run or show traces of being scared. If you start running, they feel threatened and will come after you.

Coyotes are active whenever they need to be, depending on the area they are. Though they are more nocturnal than diurnal, they can become more active during the day if circumstances compel them to. They are more active from dusk to dawn but become less active at night during winter because of the cold. Coyotes don’t hunt long during winter because of the snow and cold. Once it starts getting colder, they retire to their den. During winter, food becomes difficult to get so they switch their hunting time to daytime because they need enough food to survive. The activeness of coyotes is dependent on their area and the circumstances surrounding them.

There is no specific time in the day when Coyotes become more active though they tend to appear when there’s less sunshine and when there’s a need to hunt for food. When the night is more favorable for them to hunt, they sleep during the day in preparation for the night hunt. And when the day is more favorable, they go right out to hunt.


Coyotes are highly intelligent and sensitive to their environment, thus, their ability to know when it’s safer to come out. They switch between being nocturnal and diurnal for the sake of their lives and that of their pups. That’s a great adaptive characteristic that many animals do not possess.

Coyotes are extremely caring and protective over their pups. When they have pups, they tend to hunt more and when their pups are threatened, they attack violently. They are found in both urban and rural areas and mostly move in packs for protection against predators. 

Moving in packs means more food and less exposure to attacks, so they take advantage of that and move together or in pairs while hunting. For protection, they change location after a period of 6weeks. These animals are not harmful unless attacked. 

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Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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