Hearing A Coyote Howling: When, Where And What Does It Mean

Chong Lhungdim
Aug 31, 2023 By Chong Lhungdim
Originally Published on Oct 28, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj
Coyote standing on a rock formation howling.

Have you ever wondered why a coyote howls?

Coyote howls are very compelling and dangerous in wildlife and nowadays even urban people wake from this compelling sound made by these canines. They sound like yipping, barking or a howl and therefore coyote is called a song dog as there is a major reason behind this.

People say that the coyote howling means something and it indicates something or bad.

It is known that coyotes howling at night sound like a night chorus unlike any other animal and there are different types of call they make which are the group chorus, rapid yelping calls, yipping calls, the group yip howl, yodel, growl, barks, howl, huff, woof, bark, whine and a kind of greeting song is also made by them in a high pitch.

Usually, you may find a howling coyote at night time and it is said that hearing coyote howling is the sign they are trying to say something so at that time you should keep two to three things in mind that are trying to listen to the howl from distinct animals, try to figure out the direction from where the sound of the howl is coming and make sure you are not in that area of danger.

People living in the eastern part of the country can differentiate between the male and female coyotes' howl.

So you should be very careful when heard the coyote howling at the moon as they are trying to give some distinct information.

You can also check out other similar factual content such as these bats as pets and bird beak.

Why do coyotes howl?

Coyotes are mostly found in Northern and Central America and some of them are also found in the hidden places of Alaska, but nowadays the coyotes are found inhabiting in some regions like the Arctic regions, mountains, forest and grasslands.

Coyotes howl for a reason as they are warning the predators and the invaders of their presence, their range and territory are mostly dependent on the range and availability of food and therefore sometimes need to perform defensive actions.

The howling is also a warning call for the neighboring territory for the welcome of coyotes and anyone going against this will face wild fights and bloodshed.

Coyotes are social animals and the main purpose behind their howling is to search for other members of the same packs and this is their way of communication to make sure that other members are safe or who are not in the nearby location.

If in case any coyote is left in outside the territory, they start howling to reach other pack members.

Coyotes are predators and howling is one of their signs while hunting for their prey to ensure that the other pack members are in the nearby location and by listening to each other howls they become ready to hunt.

The coyote call sound also means the signal to hunt another territory whereas yipping calls and coyote attack sounds are the sign for those coyotes in alphas that they are ready for another hunt and their command should be forwarded.

Coyotes howl sometimes for pups who are left in their territories to protect them and at that time rapid yelling sounds are heard from coyotes. Coyotes usually howl at the moon because the moonlight allows them to form a group and find their prey.

Coyote's howls are heard sometimes in joy that they are happy to be as a pack and they also howl in cry or yip in their wildlife to celebrate it with other pack members.

coyotes also howl when injured or hurt.

What does it mean when coyotes howl?

There are different symbols of coyote vocalizations which depends upon the environment and the nature and therefore they are known as song dogs because they the pitch of their howls is very high and this may sound haunting to some people.

Coyotes howl mainly for two reasons that are- first to find their group or territory in the wildlife and to communicate with other members of the pack.

A coyote howls when hunting, traveling or looking after their group members who live in the same city or state.

Their howl is like an alarm to other pack members to be alert from those of different groups attacking or sneaking in their environment.

A coyote howl sometimes feels like it is interrupted by the chorus of small barks and yip sound and therefore coyotes are the ones whose howl can be distinguished from any other animal as compared in pitch and tone.

You will hear a coyote howl more from the month of September to November because it is the time for pups to leave the pack as they are old enough still the pups remain in contact with their group species to live in someplace.

The species of wolves howl in a different way that is slow and smooth which gradually rises whereas the dogs howl in a lower-pitched tone with some adjustment.

What does hearing coyotes howl mean?

It is a myth and humans too believe that if they hear a coyote howling something bad is going to happen but if we see the scientific logic behind it it is the way of coyotes which they use for communicating, as it sounds like an alarm to those who live near the location where these canines reside and they are most active at the night time and sometimes howls looking towards the moon which does not mean that they are attracted to the moonlight but they get a chance to locate, kill and park their prey in the woods.

The coyote's howl in a very high pitch that you can listen to it from half a mile away and coyotes are often found howling as a big family or group, and they move together while hunting.

Their howl is mixed with different types of sounds like yips, yaps and barks which you should hear and try to figure out how far they are from to know whether you are safe or not.

Should You Be Concerned

Yes, one should be concerned when they hear a howling coyote and if a situation comes where a coyote is howling at you then you should stay calm because according to national research coyotes are afraid of humans and try to haze them which is the safest method at that particular time.

Some hazing ways which you should use to distract them are- appear large and do not show you are afraid of them, throw some projectiles in their way, make some noise in front of them or spray a hose.

Their yips and barks are a sign that they are communicating to their family members after they have defended a den or a kill, but their bark indicates other members of a dog or wolf family to come to that area which is a kind f risk to the humans as they get surrounded by the wild animals.

People get scared after listening to the coyote's howl and overestimate the number by twofold whereas the number remains up to five to six adults which are also found because of the pups born that year between the months August to October.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for coyote howling then why not take a look at the bee life cycle or coyote facts?

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Written by Chong Lhungdim

Bachelor's degree specializing in Economics, Master's degree specializing in Public Policy

Chong Lhungdim picture

Chong LhungdimBachelor's degree specializing in Economics, Master's degree specializing in Public Policy

With extensive knowledge in economics, public policy, and finance, Chong is a highly qualified professional with a Bachelor's degree in Economics St Andrew's College of Arts, Science and Commerce and a Postgraduate degree in Public Policy from the University of Mumbai. Her enthusiasm for research and content writing has led her to develop expertise in various fields of economic and public policy analysis. Chong has experience in research, data analysis, and producing high-quality content.

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Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj

Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in International Business

Vikhaash Sundararaj picture

Vikhaash SundararajBachelor of Fine Arts specializing in International Business

With a background in International Business Management, having completed his degree at the University of Hull. Vikhaash has volunteered with 'Teach For India' to help students create a monthly newsletter. In his free time, he enjoys sports and was the assistant captain of his school's hockey team. He has also gained marketing experience through an internship at Decathlon Sports India.

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