Coyotes will make 11 clear sounds with each sound having its purpose or complementing another sound. However, the reasons why a coyote will produce a howl or a barking sound has often resulted in lots of attention and study. The two sounds often are produced when the predator is threatened.
In most cases, a coyote will bark when intruded by other animals such as foxes and dogs, or when chased. However, to some people, there is no difference between a bark and howl from a coyote. It is a deep study that reveals the exact cause why a coyote will produce either of the two sounds. However, a coyote bark is mostly associated with intruding by dogs and foxes. When dogs come close to coyotes, the predators responds by barking to warn the intruder to back off. It is a way of building self-confidence by coyotes and letting the intruder know they have exceeded their limits of coming close.
However, some scientists argue a coyote will only bark at a dog that has previously chased it before. In other words, a coyote will bark at a dog to intimidate it before it launches an attack; it is a sign to walk away. Hence, one can say a coyote will balk at a dog or any intruding animal to state its territories and watch its limits of drawing any closer.
The barking episodes can last up to 20 minutes depending on how stubborn the intruder can become. However, on backing down, the barking stop, but the coyote remains alerted until the intruder’s smell fades away or is completely out of sight.
While barking often indicates a coyote is threatened, a howl will indicate something else. Most people unfamiliar with the different sounds made by a coyote think that a howl is a combination of several animals raising their voices in unison. However, that is just an illusion in your mind, as a coyote will produce a variety of sounds to produce one loud howl. Howls from two coyotes can be easily mistaken to a noise of 8 animals especially since its distorted as it passes through different mediums.
A group yip-howl is often produced by a matted and territorial pair of alpha coyotes. The male often produces a howling sound while the female intersperses her yips and short howls. Pups of the alpha pair may join in the howling, and pups that are one year old if they are nearby. As such, the howling sound though made by a few animals could be hard as a large pack of giant predators making the sound.
Following distortion by trees and rocks that cause an echoing effect, you are likely to mistake a howling sound made by one pair of alpha coyotes for a large number of animals which is often not the case. Once one pair of coyotes, start howling you are likely to hear other pairs of coyotes responding by howling. The resulting effect is chorus after chorus of yip howls rippling across vast territories, neighborhoods, or even forest.
In most cases, coyotes will note produce a howling sound when threatened or angry. It is usually produced when an alpha pair is good moods, and the response is often by another alpha pair. In very rare occasions will you find a coyote respond to howls by their physical presence.
A howling sound is mostly used for enhancing bonding among family members; it is an in-house activity that attracts responses from their partners. Besides, howling is often used as a way of displaying the splendor of their territories. In other words, a pair of alpha coyotes will howl to communicate a happy family, and we own the territory so keep off.
More research into howls reveals that each pair of alpha coyotes will make a distinct howl from the other, and other coyotes can be able to identify the howls. Hence, the howling can be used to determine a particular pair and their location. The different characteristics of each howl will vary in their pitch, duration, and how fast a pitch will rise and fall. Such features in the howling sound make it possible for coyotes to identify each other.
However, the howls fade away as distance increases and the harder it gets to distinguish the howls. However, the distance is relative as Coyotes have a keen ear and can identify the howls 3 miles away from the alpha pair making the sounds.