Like other wild animals, coyotes produce different sounds to signal an individual message. However, active listening to the sounds of a coyote is slightly difficult as foxes and wolves make almost identical sounds. For a person who has never heard any sound from a coyote, it would be difficult to differentiate the sound made by a coyote and that made by a fox. The sounds are almost similar, and one requires a set of skills and experience to differentiate the two sounds.
Besides, one will need to distinguish the sound made an alpha male from that made a juvenile who is looking to conquer a territory or pack of his own. While experience is the ultimate teacher in learning how to differentiate sounds made other animals and that of a coyote, one can get a few insights which will ultimately fast track the whole process.
One distinct feature of coyote calls is that they are high pitched compared to that of foxes and wolves. Among the three wolves have sounds with the least pitch. Coyote yelps, barks, and yips will sound more like the sounds of a batch of small terriers when playing. The short mi-pitched sound of a coyote especially their barks sounds exactly like that if terrier but will often sound like a short scream or a pitched laugh.
Coyotes will do a lot of barking compared to foxes and wolves, with most of the barking associated with territory marking or response to agitation. A coyote will always bark at a dog to warn it off especially if it’s alone. It’s a way of intimidating the intruder first especially if it’s alone.
Coyotes will howl mostly as a pack. However, if the howling is not one high note is a call to assemble the pack. Scholars say howling is a social call, where coyotes have smaller packs compared to foxes and wolves. Hence, a coyote howl is not as loud as compared to that of wolves. As such, you learn to listen to the coyote howls by first identifying their low volume and high pitch. Ordinarily, only half a dozen will join the howling.
Coyotes just like dogs, wolves, and foxes will bark, whine, and growl when they are anxious or in need of something. When a coyote’s whines become high pitched, it means the predator is highly anxious is ready to attack and should back off. Hence, if you are learning the sounds out in the jungle get warned and retreat from your position.
Coyotes can sustain the longest barks compared to wolves and foxes. Hence if you get to hear long barks going to up to 20 minutes that is a coyote. However, if the barking stops immediately listen carefully to the pitch of the bark and it’s a high pitched bark, that is a coyote barking.
The next sound to learn about coyotes is their growing sound which is common among puppies. However, among the adults, the sounds are low pitched and could be friendly or challenging calls. The intensity and length of the growls tell you whether they are challenging or friendly. Friendly growls are usually short and have a low pitch as opposed to challenging growls which have a high pitch and last longer.
Howls are usually social calls by mostly the alpha pair where other members in a pack of coyotes respond by producing similar sounds. However, one distinguishing feature of coyote howls from other animals such as wolves is that they are not as loud. A coyote pack will consist of half a dozen coyotes. Howling is among the coyotes is done to by harmonizing the sound of the alpha pair. As a result, one can mistake the sound for the sound of a huge number of animals.
Howls are also used by coyotes to warn any wanderer into their territories to keep away. However, lower ranking members are not allowed to join in the howling. It is important to note this so that if you are observing the coyotes howling, you are not surprised to find some of them not joining in the howling. Any coyote wondering that does not respond to such territorial warning is often killed by the entire pack to maintain their pack. Consequently, as you learn about the different sounds made by coyotes, it is important to learn their response to avoid getting injured while learning.