Grasshopper-Loving Coyote in the Wichita Mountains

Last week, I spent an amazing week exploring the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. One particular resident quickly became a familiar face (well, maybe not exactly a face!): a coyote with a fondness for grasshoppers.

Coyote Eating Grasshoppers
Coyote Eating Grasshoppers

For the first four days of my visit, I’d spot this coyote in roughly the same area. It would be out in the tallgrass, meticulously working its way through a buffet of grasshoppers. I first saw it on my very first evening after setting up camp. I was taking a sunset drive through the refuge when this wily hunter caught my eye.

While I observed from the safe distance of my truck (remember, coyotes are wild animals!), the coyote seemed completely unfazed by my presence. This gave me the perfect opportunity to snap some photos, a few of which I’ve shared here. (Unfortunately, my grasshopper-catching action shots remain elusive!)

Coyote In Tall Grass
Coyote In Tall Grass

Why the Grasshopper Obsession?

My curiosity piqued, I did some digging and learned that grasshoppers are a crucial part of a coyote’s diet, especially during the summer and fall when they’re plentiful. These little green snacks aren’t just tasty, they’re also packed with protein and other essential nutrients for a busy coyote on the go.

Coyote Looking For Grasshoppers
Coyote Looking For Grasshoppers

But why grasshoppers specifically? There are a couple of reasons:

  • Easy pickings: Grasshoppers are often abundant and relatively easy to catch compared to other prey.
  • Dietary flexibility: Coyotes are resourceful eaters. They adapt their diet to what’s available in their environment, and when grasshoppers are hopping around in abundance, it makes perfect sense to take advantage of this readily available food source.
Coyote Eating Insects
Coyote Eating Insects

A Window into the Wild

For wildlife enthusiasts and photographers, observing a coyote’s feeding behavior can be a truly fascinating experience. Witnessing their hunting techniques and prey choices provides a glimpse into their remarkable adaptability and the strategies they use to survive in the wild.

Coyote Looking My Way
Coyote Looking My Way

So, the next time you’re out exploring, keep your eyes peeled! You might just be lucky enough to encounter a coyote with a taste for grasshoppers (and maybe even snap a few photos of your own!).

1 thought on “Grasshopper-Loving Coyote in the Wichita Mountains”

  1. Gosh I never knew that about a Coyote eating grass hoppers. I had a dog one year who loved to eat grasshopper around my yard. I thought it was strange behavior at the time. You took some pretty cool pictures of the Coyote to share with us. Thanks

    Reply

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