All wild animals make special sounds for communication or any other purpose. The coyote is also a wild animal that covers very vast territory from Alaska to Central America. They also make a lot of sounds like yips, howls, and barks. You may have been familiar with these sounds through literature, art, and films even if you have not experienced them in the wilderness. Generally, coyotes are not very vocal animals like human beings. They are considered very quiet wild animals. They do most of their daily communications with the help of eye contact, body language, and very subtle facial expressions.
Coyote sounds might not have any definite language but it is easily readable by other family members and those people who have spent some time listening to these sounds. The sound usually comes out in the form of an emotional outburst. Most of the time the vocalization of the coyote is related to the family’s internal affairs as coyotes have very intense family lives. It is also very much known that the coyote makes a lot of noise or special kinds of sounds at night.
In this article, we are going to explain in detail what do coyotes sound like under different circumstances.
- What do coyotes sound like?
- Coyote sounds meaning
- Coyote sound at night
- Coyote mating sounds
- Decoding the howling sound of a coyote
- Coyote sounds during Denning season
- Coyote sounds during the pup rearing season
- Coyote sound during pup dispersal season
- How to utilize sounds for catching a coyote
- Weird coyote sounds
- Should you be concerned if you hear coyote sounds near you?
- Frequently asked questions
What do coyotes sound like?
Coyote makes a lot of sounds. You can hear these wild animals both day and nighttime in the wilderness. Sometimes people also intermix their sounds with other animals like foxes, dogs, owls, and wolves. Coyotes mainly make sounds for the sake of communication. The most prominent sounds they make are yipping, barking, howling, yelping, woofing, etc. However, they prefer to utilize some silent means of communication as we have explained above. In the nighttime, they also make some strange sounds like they are howling.
Coyote sounds meaning
Coyote makes different sounds under different circumstances. It is important to understand their meaning so that we can get to know what coyote wants.
Sound of coyote Bark
Like other animals, coyote also barks as a warning of danger. They also make these sounds while fighting or if they want to grab the attention of others.
They howl under different situations. If they lone howl, it means to give intimation to the other members of the pack so that they can easily track each other in the wilderness. If they are making bark-howl then it is a warning sign for the intruders to go away. For socialization, they also make group howls or yip howls.
Whining and yelping
Coyote pups or beta members usually make these sounds. They make these sounds while tucking their tail. Moreover, all the coyotes also whine if they are injured.
Coyote Growling sounds
This sound is almost the same as barking. It seems more dominant than barking. They make these sounds as a warning sign or if they have gained dominance or going to gain dominance on anything.
Huffing and woofing
These are disliking sounds. If there is some disagreement between the pack members, then they make huffing and woofing sounds. They also make these sounds if other animals like dogs or wolves have intruded into their territory.
These sounds are usually erupted by a female coyote who is in search of its mating partner. It is not a very well-known sound and only makes for calling in coyotes for the breeding season.
Coyote Yipping sounds
Coyote yips to express their painful feeling. It is actually an extreme form of whining. They usually make this sound if these animals are highly stressed or disturbed. It could be highly alarming for the other pack members if Coyote makes these sounds.
Coyote Laughing sound
Sometime coyote makes a mixture of sounds. Various sounds like yipping, whining, and whistling when mixed together make a very strange laughing-like sound. They make these sounds if they are doing some celebrations in the nighttime or if they have got some big source of food.
Sounds of a coyote Screaming
It is one of the strangest noises you can hear from a coyote. These screams are almost the same as women are distressingly screaming somewhere. These are also called coyote distress sounds. These sounds might be extremely frightening for you and you must not go towards these places from where these noises are coming from. Usually, they make these sounds if their predator comes towards them. You may also consider these screams the same as the scream made by foxes, badgers, and bobcats.
Coyote sound at night
Now, let me explain to you what does a coyote sound like at night. Coyotes make various kinds of sounds at nighttime. The howling sound is the most prominent among these. They make these sounds for communication purposes at night with their pack members. Moonlight also influences the coyote sounds. It means moonlight influences the coyote sounds. Coyote also makes a sound at night for an indication of their home territory as they don’t want an intruder to come near their home range or territory.
For this purpose, they make sounds like barking, howling, and whining. They also make howl for communication purposes while hunting at nighttime. They hunt as a team and also share the food they hunt. In this kind of hunt, communication is very necessary which they make by making howling sounds. They also make howling sounds at nighttime for keeping the predators away from their den for the safety of their pups.
Coyote mating sounds
Coyote sounds are also very famous during breeding or mating seasons. The season usually starts between January and March. Coyote starts making sounds at the beginning of this season. Male coyote only makes howling while mating but this sound is mixed with the yipping, barking, and howling of female coyotes. Male coyotes also remain monogamous throughout their life until their partner dies. Sometimes you may also hear coyote mating calls which are intentionally done for attracting their mating partner towards them.
Decoding the howling sound of a coyote
Coyote makes howl when the sunset colors fade. Howling is the long but slow sound that usually breaks the calm of the forest. These are short howls that rise and fall as quickly as possible. You may also confuse this sound as the noises of a pack of animals but it is actually an illusion which is called the “beau geste” effect. The howling sound gradually distorts as it passes from one phase to another. These howls come in a variety of forms. Let’s have a look at all of these howling sounds made by individual coyotes or packs of coyotes.
These sounds are a mixture of sounds made by alpha coyotes along with female yips, barks, and howls. Beta coyotes and their pups may also join this sound. By hearing this sound, another alpha pair may also respond in the same manner and resultantly these yip howls may be heard from very far miles away.
Coyote sounds are also called song dogs due to their capability to travel very long distances. This type of song comes in two types.
Group yip howling
These yip howls are an indication of very strong bonding within the family. It is also a very strong message for territorial display that no one should cross this particular territory as it belongs to a specific coyote group. It is a very large auditory fence that no one should dare to cross.
This mixture of sounds is a warning sign which indicates agitation, disturbance, and threat. They usually make these sounds when big animals like wolves, or small animals like dogs or human beings intrude into their territory. If the tone of the howling sound is much higher then it means the coyote is highly disturbed and facing very high potential threat from the predators.
Coyote sounds during Denning season
Coyote also makes sound while making dens for them. In this season, these animals are not very local. They just bark at the animals who come near their dens. These are also not very volume barks and usually make very low-volume barks or signals through body language.
Coyote sounds during the pup rearing season
Coyote pups become active very early and start coming out of their dens just after 35 days of their birth. The parents of coyotes take it to less risky places like open plains or grass fields for training about hunting and killing the prey. They usually don’t hunt very big or dangerous animals as it could be risky.
On this short hunting tour, they also leave their pup freely for making some independent hunt. They might be separate from each other but keep telling each about their location with the help of their special sounds. Female coyotes also indicate through sounds the time to return back. In this hunt training exercise, sometimes coyote pups also get lost in the wilderness.
Coyote sound during pup dispersal season
After some months of nourishing and taking care, of coyote pups are left alone on their own. This usually happens in the month of September if the mating season has occurred at its time. At this age, these pups are trained enough that they can easily find and kill their prey. These young coyotes start finding out their own territory after leaving their parents. After that, they prepare themselves for the mating season.
During this time, you may also witness a lot of young and transient coyotes in search of their territory and mating partner. In this process, these animals may also do fighting with a lot of other animals as well as their own mates. They usually make howling and barking sounds after dispersal from their parents.
How to utilize sounds for catching a coyote
You may also use some sounds for catching coyotes or luring them close enough that you can easily see them properly. There are two ways to do this. First of all, is the electronic callers. It might be an expensive method but it works most of the time. You can make a lot of coyote sounds as well as other coyote prey sounds by using this electronic device.
Another method of luring coyotes towards you is with the help of closed-reed callers. It is not a very expensive method but you need to have some practice for practically applying it. It mainly makes sounds that seem like the certain coyote prey is in distress and the coyote must immediately go there and hunt it down.
Weird coyote sounds
Coyotes make a lot of different kinds of sounds. It is the wild animals that make the most strange and weird sounds throughout their lives under different circumstances. It is also the only North American mammal that could make this number of sounds. Generally, it is very normal to hear sounds like yip, bark, howl, and yelp from these animals. Sometimes they emit laughter sounds and sometimes distress sounds.
You cannot understand under what conditions they are making any particular sound. We have also heard coyote sounds like a woman screaming at night. These screaming sounds have also been made by other animals like bobcats and foxes.
Should you be concerned if you hear coyote sounds near you?
You may hear coyote sounds like yipping, howling, and barking at nighttime. People are usually very concerned or alarmed about these sounds especially if they are erupting in the nighttime. It is usually thought that coyote has made some hunting and now eating and making sounds. It is a wrong perception because coyotes can make a lot of sounds for various other reasons.
For instance, they make sounds for the purpose of communication between themselves. For this purpose, they yip and howl. They also make barking sounds while making their dens or safeguarding their territory. People also overestimate the number of coyotes from the sound they heard.
Once it was experimented on by the wildlife research institute of Texas. They play some recording sounds of a coyote howling and yipping. When people were asked to estimate the number of coyotes in the recording, they increased two times the number of coyotes they heard. Thus, there is nothing to worry about just coyote sounds unless these animals are showing aggression toward human beings or pets.
Frequently asked questions
In a nutshell, we have tried our best to cover all the possible coyote sounds that they can make in a very comprehensive manner. We have also covered their coyote calls at night, strange screaming sounds as well as their normal sounds. Most of the time they make sounds in the pack which might be difficult to decode but after reading this article you can easily differentiate between these sounds and what is the meaning of these sounds. I hope this article helps you a lot in understanding all the possible coyote vocalizations.
Izzy is an experienced ranch worker who has a passion for exploring nature and getting up close to wildlife. With her connections to various animal organizations, Izzy is well-versed in animal care and rehabilitation.