News release

Exercise Caution as Coyote Mating Season Begins in Mississauga

City services | January 20, 2023

January is the start of coyote mating season. Coyotes search for mates and usually begin mating in February. During this time of year, you may see, hear or encounter coyotes as they look for their mates. You may also hear them howl and yip more as they communicate and establish their marked territory.

Coyote staring straight at the camera in a blurbed background

Within a coyote pack, only the breeding pair can reproduce. Others assist with caring for pups, hunting for food, guarding the pack and defending their marked territory.

Coyote pups are typically being born around the end of March through April. An average litter is around four to six pups. Pups are born blind, live within their den for about four to five weeks and are fully weaned after a month. They outgrow their den at the twelve-week mark and will be fully grown within a year.

Coyote mother and 3 pups playing on a fallen log

Coyotes play an essential role in an urban ecosystem as they help control rodents and other wildlife populations. You may see coyotes foraging during the day when their pups are born – as the need for food increases. They often move around in search of food. They are opportunistic and will eat what is readily available, including mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, berries and nuts. They become attracted to communities because of food and shelter.

While incidents with humans are rare, there may be a greater likelihood of a pet being involved in an incident during mating season. Coyotes will be more visible, protective and potentially be more defensive or bold to ward off threats and dangers to their pups and territory.

If you encounter a coyote near its den, it might try to escort you to a safe distance. You may notice that it might hunch its back, approach you or start to yip, bark or huff. Slowly leave the area and pick up small pets. Coyotes view pets, like dogs, as potential threats, so never leave your pets unattended and off-leash, especially at night. Avoid retractable leashes that allow your pets to roam and don’t leave pets alone in your backyard.

Coyote signage at local Mississauga park

You can safely coexist with coyotes at any time of the year with the proper awareness and understanding of staying safe. Please keep away from coyotes and avoid harassing, following or interacting with them. Stay clear of dens and pups.

See a coyote? Report a sighting using the City’s online sightings map. The map helps Animal Services target areas for patrols and community outreach.

If you see a coyote that is sick, injured or not keeping a safe distance, call Mississauga Animal Services at 905-896-5858.

To learn more about Animal Services and urban wildlife, visit