A Morning of Sounds: Sirens, Howls, Squeals of Joy & Affection

The first sounds of the morning consisted of the wailing sirens of a fire engine — this interrupted the initial quiet of the morning when I arrived in the park.

Within less than a minute there was a coyote response:  howling.  I was only able to record one short section at a very great distance. This is the first actual howling, as opposed to barking, which I’ve been able to record. It is very different from the barking. The barking in our parks has always been a response to dogs. Howling is not about this: there were no dogs in the park at this time. The howling was a definite response to the sirens and only to the sirens. And I’m pretty sure I could hear another coyote in another distant park, far, far away, responding to the same thing: was it a kind of “community” response? HOWL.

After the howling was over, I walked towards where the sound had come from. The coyote I had seen and heard had come down from her perch on the horizon and was now on a trail. I watched her as she immediately met up with her two offspring from last year — yearlings. I have seen the intense warm affection with which the coyotes of a family greet one another, but today there were very clear audible sounds included: it resembled the squeaking sound of puppies — even though these young ones are fully grown. The sounds were clear and continuous until the greeting was over: it was kind of an affection frenzy.  Unfortunately, I did not get a recording of these sounds. I’m including the photos of the greeting — all blurred because of the early hour, and I have the howling recording. Update: I was able get some of the “squeals” — press the HOWL link above to get there!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. RKB
    Jul 11, 2010 @ 04:13:36

    Decades ago, I lived in New Delhi, India. At night, jackals roamed the city, and their night-howls were a familiar sound. They strongly resemble coyotes.

    http://www.canids.org/species/Canis_aureus.htm

    But as the city grew larger and denser, the call of the jackal disappeared from its music and was forgotten. Then I moved to San Francisco, and the first place I stayed was near a fire-station.

    At night, half asleep, I was convinced I heard jackals howling. Then I realized it was the siren of a fire-truck. They weren’t the same sound, but something in its timbre awoke that memory.

    Perhaps the coyotes were responding to something similar.

    Reply

  2. janet kessler
    Jul 11, 2010 @ 21:48:21

    Hi RKB: Fascinating!! A nice insight. That the fire engines tapped your distant memory of the jackals in your half-sleep would only have occurred if there was some kind of relevance, it seems to me. I’m so glad you thought of this. If you come up with more, let me know. I really loved reading this: how the memory came about, about the jackals, and about your time in New Delhi. I’ll be keeping your comment in mind. Thank you!!

    Reply

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