Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Coyote Moon Blog Tour

Thank you Maria Gianferrari for stopping by today and sharing about your new book, COYOTE MOON, with some cool facts and resources about coyotes. 


Eastern coyotes are also known as “coywolves,” due to their hybrid heritage. European settlement in eastern North America decimated the wolf population through hunting, deforestation and poisoning. Western coyotes moved into former wolf territory, and wolves viewed them as mates rather than competition for resources.

Coywolves are larger than western coyotes. They have longer legs, bigger paws, larger skulls, shorter snouts, smaller ears and bushier tails.

Here’s a short video that shows their physical differences: 

You can find more information on coywolves on Dr. Jonathan Way’s Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research website.

2.     RANGE:
Coyotes live in every US state except Hawaii. Their range extends throughout North America as far north as Alaska, and as far south as Panama, and coast to coast in the continental US. 

Click on image to see original site. 

Click on image to see original site. 

You read that right—coyotes have adapted to urban living are thriving in New York City! Scientists involved in the Gotham Project study these city dwellers.

Here’s an image of a mother and her pups:

For more images and videos, visit Gotham Coyote’s Gallery

Coyotes live in most of our cities. Check out 10 Fascinating Facts about Urban Coyotes

One of the main reasons coyotes can easily be our neighbors is due to their adaptability, especially when it comes to their diet. They are opportunistic, which means they eat what’s available and most plentiful in their environment. Desert denizens eat lizards, snakes and prickly pear. City supper might be rats or mice or squirrels. In the country or residential areas, it might be voles, rabbits, turkeys or even feral cats. Coyotes also eat watermelons, berries, other fallen fruit, and insects like grasshoppers or grubs. They will even scavenge and eat carrion.

Predators such as coyotes help maintain balance in an ecosystem by controlling the populations of rodents, rabbits, and even Canada Geese by eating their eggs. They also help the songbird population by keeping feral cat colonies in check.  [image #4 from CM]

Visit Project Coyote to learn more about the role in maintaining ecosystem balance.

Though it’s not directly about coyotes, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent’s When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature’s Balance in Yellowstone is a wonderful study of a canine predator’s role in an ecosystem.

6.    HELPERS:
When coyote mates have a new litter of pups, some juveniles from the previous year’s litter may not choose to disperse and find their own home territory. Instead, they stay on to help raise the new pups.

Coyotes are agile and very athletic: 

·      Long jump: up to 12 feet!

·      High jump: over 6 feet!

·      Sprint:  up to 40 miles per hour!!

That’s the coyote’s Latin name, and it means “barking dog,” an appropriate name for a canid that uses all kinds of sounds to communicate. They’re also known as North America’s “song dog.”

For an extensive list of their vocalizations, have a look at “Translating the Song Dog”  

Coyote populations self-regulate by availability of food and habitat. Killing coyotes disrupts the group hierarchy resulting in an increase in coyotes reproducing as well as larger litter sizes due to decreased competition for food.

Coyotes are here to stay, so let’s keep them wild! Most human-coyote conflicts stem from feeding coyotes, either overtly or inadvertently.

Here are some basic steps you can take to discourage them from being bold:

·      Keep pet food inside.

·      Keep birdseed off the ground since it attracts rodents, and rodents attract coyotes.

·      Clean-up fallen fruit.

·      Keep compost in secure containers.

·      Close off crawl spaces under decks to prevent denning.

·      Keep cats inside.

·      Don’t leave your dog unattended in your yard.

If a coyote seems habituated, and is frequenting your yard, practice hazing techniques to re-instill fear:

·      Stand tall, yell and wave your arms.

·      Make loud noises with pots, pans or noisemakers.

Want to learn even more about coyotes? Here are some books and websites:

·      I Am Coyote by Geri Vistein and her website: Coyote Lives in Maine

·      Suburban Howls: Tracking the Eastern Coyote in Urban Massachusetts by Jonathan G. Way and his website: Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research

·      The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton and the Daily Coyote website

·      Gotham Coyote

·      Urban Coyote Research

·      Project Coyote

·      The Natural History of the Urban Coyote

·      Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in Our Midst by Catherine Reid

·      God’s Dog: A Celebration of the North American Coyote by Hope Ryden

·      Eastern Coyote: The Story of Its Success by Gerry Parker

·      Coyote: North America’s Dog by Stephen R. Swinburne

A new release that I haven’t yet read, but sounds fantastic:

·      Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History by Dan Flores

About the author: Maria Gianferrari was inspired to write Coyote Moon after her first coywolf sighting on a moonlit night in her own Massachusetts backyard. Maria now lives in Northern Virginia with her scientist husband, artist daughter, and rescue dog, Becca. Coyote Moon has received starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly and is a Junior Library Guild selection. This is Maria’s first book for Roaring Brook Press. To learn more about Maria please visit her at, on Facebook or Instagram.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour

FRI 7/15:                   Pragmatic Mom (+ 3 book giveaway)

MON 7/18:                 Nonfiction Detectives

TUES 7/19:                Debtastic Reads

WED 7/20:                 Kid Lit Frenzy

THURS 7/21:              Librarian’s Quest

FRI 7/22:                   Kidlit411

MON 7/25:                 The Reading Zone

TUES 7/26:                Bartography

WED 7/27:                 Unleashing Readers

Enter the rafflecopter to win a copy of Coyote Moon. Winner must be 13 years old or older and have a US mailing address: 

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