Coyotes and foxes share a distant relative, the big wolf. Apart from the similar-looking smile and a carnivorous diet, they hardly have anything in common.
For starters, a Coyote is larger, taller, and has long limbs like the snout and ears. Foxes, on the other hand, are kinda small.
When it comes to the Coyote den vs. fox den, you are in for a big surprise. A fox den is big, like really damn big.
It has several holes and has different compartments. Coyotes don’t share this trait and often cover their den with a piece of bark as a camouflage.
Foxes dig deep into the ground, creating tunnels 15 to 20 cm (8 in.) in height.
Coyotes, in general, go for a premade den, like a hollowed-out tree stump, rock outcrop, or even raccoon dens. They can also make their own dens, but why put effort into something you can avoid completely?
Today, we will compare the two dens, head to head. Read more below:
Coyote Den vs. Fox Den: Comparison Table
|Features||Coyote den||Fox den|
|Length||5 to 15 feet (Self made ones are smaller)||10-20 feet|
|Opening holes||One or two||Smaller dens have 2-5 entrances, where older ones can be up to 20.|
|Compartment||Just a single compartment||Several compartments, such as old pup chambers, food cache, etc.|
|Types of dens||Usually just one for raising the pups||Natal, backup, and communal dens|
|Location||Hollowed-out tree stump, rock outcrop, old raccoon dens, or even self made||Self made only and near the water bodies|
|Pup count||4 to 8 pups||4-5 pups average|
Coyote Dens: Everything you need to know
Unlike the big appearance, a coyote den is quite small. If they dig their own den underground, the length can be about 7 feet on average. However, they prefer to steal or borrow the dens of raccoons, rats, and other animals.
It has a single compartment and can also be a hollowed-out tree stump or even your old warehouse.
About Coyote pups, 4-8 pups max can stay in a den. It has a single compartment, so don’t expect anything fancy.
Types of dens
Coyote dens can be self-made or the leftover dens of other animals like raccoons, older coyotes, and other medium-sized carnivores. When they dig their own den, you can expect it to be small, just 1 or 2 feet deep.
Like all animals, coyotes prefer living near places where they can hide easily. Often you will find them settling inside a hollow-out tree or anyplace cozy. They also love bushes and will camouflage the entrance with them.
Size of the den
For the entrance, the width won’t exceed more than 1 to 2 feet. They prefer cozy dens over the big ones. If they want to go deep, the depth can reach up to 15 feet. About 4-8 pups of a coyote can easily live in the den.
Coyotes prefer single compartment dens. They don’t store what they eat in any compartment but in a safe place where thieves can’t reach. Anyhow, the single compartment den is used to raise their young and often changes from time to time.
Additional Coyote related article you may like –
Fox Dens: Everything you need to know
Though foxes look small, their dens can reach a length of more than 20 feet. They live a luxurious life, with multiple compartments like a food storage room, old pup room, etc.
Foxes hardly use leftover dens and like to make their own ones. There can be more than one type of fox den, so they have a backup in case something goes wrong.
At times of wildfire, foxes can share communal dens with their neighbors. Here are some features of the fox den:
Types (Natal, backup, and communal dens)
The types of dens include Natal dens (Where foxes raise their young), backup dens, and Communal ones (Where foxes from other groups live together).
Primarily, foxes use natal dens to raise their pups and store food. It is not uncommon for them to shift the pups from one compartment to the other.
Digs its den near lakes, ponds, etc
Foxe makes their den near water bodies and places where food is rarely a problem. They will often pile uploads of food in their food cache. So, when drought hits, they are always prepared.
Multiple compartments and entrance
Foxes are smart animals and have more than 3 compartments in their den. Generally, they reuse old dens and keep on making them bigger. For every litter, foxes tend to make a new compartment and leave the old one.
There can be several entrance holes. Some fox species may have more than 15 of them.
The older the den, the bigger and more entrance they have.
Size of the den
The size of a fox den may vary, depending on its age. When foxes reuse the den a couple of times, it can reach more than 20 feet in length. Smaller dens are the new ones and can be 5-10 feet in length.
How can you tell a coyote den?
You can tell it’s a coyote den from the size, location, and shape of the den. Coyotes like to make dens in places where they can hide easily. Hollowed-out tree stump, rock outcrop, or there is a hole in the ground. If the den has a cover, most probably, it’s a coyote den.
How can you tell a fox den?
Foxes mark their den with urine, and the size of the hole is small. In the same area, you find multiple entrance holes with the same hole size. If the den smells funny and you find multiple holes in around 10-20 feet, it’s a fox den.
Do coyotes dig holes for dens?
Coyotes dig holes for dens, but they don’t often dig for a home. Most of the time, they prefer hollow tree trunks or leftover dens from other animals. When they dig, the den is about 1-2 feet deep.
Do coyotes return to the same den?
Coyotes have no difficulty returning to the same den if they don’t feel any threat. However, they only migrate to old dens after residing in multiple new ones.
Do foxes and coyotes live together?
Foxes and coyotes are completely different species. In natural conditions, they don’t really stick together. However, in the case of a wildfire, the scenario can change. Coyotes prefer living in single compartment dens, whereas foxes have multiple of them.
How many foxes live in a den?
In a fox litter, the number of pups can range from 4-5. But the total family number may vary as foxes use their den primarily to raise their young. Older siblings can also stick around to nurse the young pups when the mom is out hunting. There can be multiple fox families living in a single den. However, they don’t like staying in the same compartment.
Hope now you know the differences between a coyote den and a fox den. Foxes have smaller entrance holes, and the hole count may vary from 3-20.
On the other hand, Coyotes have just one or two holes maximum.
Both the species use the den to raise their young, whereas coyotes change their dens regularly. If you see multiple holes around the den, it’s most probably a fox den.
Coyotes, on the other hand, like to stay in places where they can hide easily, like bushes, hollow tree trunks, etc.