Searching for Howling in the Dark

As I searched for the howling, I left my camera on. It’s a large camera, so as I walked I had it in my hand sort of balanced on my shoulder to support it. I thought that even if I didn’t end up getting a photo or video of whoever was howling, at least I would have a recording of the sound. After I got home and reviewed the video, I thought, hey, the “searching” was actually the fun part in this video — I could not see much of anything until the coyote was outlined against the lighter dawning sky, but my jerking paces as I headed towards the sounds are recorded. So I preserved the video as is, except one minute of it right before the end while the coyote was just standing there.

In addition, what you are hearing is a male coyote barking — he’s the one I eventually locate. But a female is answering his barks, with her own higher pitched howling, which includes tremolos. The male began barking alone — that is what I heard initially. Then the female began responding. And finally, only the female can be heard in the distance. About a minute after all howling ceased everything was still and the male just looked around. I cut this part out because it made the video too long. Then the male sniffed the ground and headed off on a trek alone.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara Knupp
    Jan 05, 2013 @ 19:38:21

    The first time I heard coyotes, it awoke me in the night and I thought it eerie, almost chilling. Now the yips and howls are as welcome a part of farm life as the rooster’s crow, the call of bob white, or that of the owl. One of our greatest pleasures is discovering and learning about the wildlife around us. Once as we were retiring for the night, the howls and yips seemed quite close. My husband set out with a flashlight to pinpoint them with no success. Of course, the coyotes probably just moved away as he approached. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Jan 06, 2013 @ 05:50:13

      Hi Barbara —
      My own first reaction to a coyote howling was pure fascination . . . how could a little animal be so unusually noisy for so long? Now, I’ve learned many of the nuances, so I actually get distressed when I hear a distress howl, but I feel joy and satisfaction when the howling is one of communication and joy, as in this video! Janet

      Reply

  2. Charlotte
    Jan 07, 2013 @ 23:33:39

    Amazing video. Was the coyote aware you were there? it seemed so, at least at first. But what howls and those lonely answers. I do hope it was for joy.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Jan 08, 2013 @ 06:08:11

      Hi Charlotte — I’m sure the male coyote was well aware of me as I came clumsily down the path, but that is not why he was howling. This I know because I could hear him howling before I even got to the park. These were happy sounds. The sounds are crisp and isolated in the quiet of the dawning day: yes, amazing “howls with lonely answers” describes them very nicely! Janet

      Reply

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