Coyote Calls

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are commonly referred to as song dogs. Why is that? These wild canids can make a wide variety of vocalizations from yips, to howls, to barks and huffs. And they sure can carry on! If you’ve spent any time in the great outdoors, there’s a good chance you’ve heard them calling in the distance. Listening to coyotes as they “sing” to one another, it becomes immediately evident as to how they earned this nickname.

If you haven’t heard them yet, here’s your chance! The National Park Service has a sound library and, guess what, they have coyotes on file! If you click on this link, it will navigate you to their website where you can listen to their coyote recordings. Their calls are nothing short of poetic. When listening, close your eyes and imagine yourself out in the wilderness with these majestic animals. What do you think they’re “talking” about? What’s going on in each situation?

Listening to domestic dogs, especially the more talkative breeds, may help us better understand what coyotes are saying to one another. Believe it or not, there is actually a fair amount of overlap between how these two species communicate. If you would like to learn more about the different types of vocalizations that coyotes make, you can visit the Urban Coyote Initiative’s website. They do a great job of elaborating more on the different calls and what they mean!

Denise Peterson

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