Coyote Sounds Meaning – What To Expect

Getting to study a highly elusive animal as a coyote with so many similarities with wolves and foxes can be a difficult venture. The difficulty of the assignment gets even harder when there is little factual information about their way of life. However, if you would want to learn a coyote studying about their sounds and what to expect on every sound is important in unearthing myths about a coyote.

Scientists who have devoted their lives to the study of coyote states that a coyote communication system is comprised of several aspects. It comprises of visual and audio signals. Audio signals are of great importance to hunters as it enables them to have a deeper insight of what the animal is thinking and can predict its behavior using sounds.

Studies on the sounds made by coyotes reveal they make 11 different sounds each giving a clear message to the receivers. The 11 sounds are further are further categorized into three as indicated below.

1. Agonistic sounds which are produced to show aggressive of defensive between Coyotes.

  •    Woof
  •    Growl
  •    Huff
  •    Bark
  •    Bark Howl
  •    Yelp
  •    Whine

2. Greeting

  •    Whine
  •    Group Yip howl
  •    Wow-oo-wow

3. Contact

  •    Group Yip howl
  •    Lone howl
  •    Group howl

Further scientific research has proved that owing to the variation in length, shape, and volume of their vocal track; a coyote will produce unique sounds. Hence, a coyote can identify and respond to specific calls of coyotes known to them. For instance, in the case of pups, mothers will respond to the calls by their pups, and it is very hard to produce the sound made by a precise coyote unless you have recorded its sound frequency.

Besides, it is important to note that coyotes will respond more to group yip howls as opposed to any other calls with a more physical approach as opposed to lone howls. Additionally, a resident coyote will first position itself more towards their core areas before responding either vocally or by making an approach.

The second aspect from which to approach coyote calls is by studying a callers perspective. Nearly all the 11 vocalizations from coyotes can be used to trigger either physical or vocal response from other predators. However, this will not apply to coyotes on transit or nomad coyotes, and they make up to 70% of the population at certain times of the year. Such coyotes will not announce their presence as it could lead to a drastic unpleasant response from other coyotes. Hence, most of the calls we get to hear are made by resident coyotes. Below is a brief description of each sound made by coyotes.


It is a low-intensity short range alarm used by parents to send their pups into their dens or to take cover. Also, it used to stop or position other coyotes in nearby areas without awakening prey.


A growl is a threat produced in high intensity and is usually short range.


Huffs are usually short range, high intensity and are produced in rapid series resulting in a chuffing sound from the animals. However, they it is not a sound recommended for use by hunters as they can trigger a varying response from other coyotes with some fleeing on hearing the sound.


A balk is usually high-intensity long range sound that is meant to indicate a warning or threat. It is one of the controversial sounds used by hunters, as it can result in unexpected responses. Many callers agree if one gets a balk in response from a coyote, it could translate that the caller has been busted by the listening coyotes. Hence, one needs to get the frequency and intensity of the sound perfect or else the coyote will read mischief and flee. Ordinarily, Coyotes will bark for some reasons key among them being raising security levels, when confronted by sound or a smell that intimidates them.


A yelp can be alarming to coyotes with lower levels of security. Puppy yelps are normally distress calls. However, it is a sound all callers should have in their arsenal as it will trigger a response from coyotes of all ages and social groups, besides, you might find foxes and bobcats responding to Yelps among other predators.


A whine is usually a short range sound and is usually to coax or entice coyotes to respond or fall for certain traps, as it arouses curiosity.