View Full Version : Another coyote thread

Nov. 21, 2009, 01:29 PM
I went out to the barn late Thursday night to check on everyone. The coyote singing/chittering/howling was all around me--to the north, to the south and to the west. I have no idea how many were actually involved in the calling, but it sounded like dozens to me. And it went on the whole time I was checking on the horses.

They made me extremely nervous; but since my dogs didn't respond in either a fear or protective mode, the coyotes can't have been too close by. So my response must have been me and not reality based. I really did feel surrounded and threatened.

Anyone else have this response to coyote calling at night?

Nov. 21, 2009, 01:38 PM
Well, they will certainly give you the chills. :) We have lots of farm ground around, and we hear them from all over, too. And I know they come in close, because they killed a lab pup we had a year and a half ago.

When we go camping and the coyotes howl, it really sound eerie, because its so quiet and dark....


Tamara in TN
Nov. 21, 2009, 02:46 PM
So my response must have been me and not reality based. I really did feel surrounded and threatened.
Anyone else have this response to coyote calling at night?

not me...I love hearing them sing esp in the winter...if I am in the barn I go out and listen in the yard and if I am in the house I have been known to go out on the bedroom balcony with Calvin saying
"woman shut the door":lol:


Nov. 21, 2009, 02:56 PM
I really like the sound, too. Of course, I grew up in an area with a lot of them, so it was really unusual not to hear them. When I lived for a time in an area where there weren't many, I really missed the sound. :)

Nov. 21, 2009, 04:12 PM
In my experience with the coyotes around here - a few can sound like dozens. One night one seemed to be circling our house and sounded like a hyena on crack. Never did figure out what THAT was all about. At certain times of the year one of our pastures is coyote highway. They come and go at all hours of the day and night, but I've never seen more than two at a time...with the exception of the odd sight of seeing a pair chasing a third within 20 feet of where I stood beside the barn - totally oblivious to me. The 'chasee' had blood on its shoulder, probably attacked for trespassing. My dog, who enjoys chasing coyotes off the property, took off after them and they split into three different directions. It confused my dog. :lol:

Nov. 21, 2009, 07:00 PM
I really did feel surrounded and threatened.

Anyone else have this response to coyote calling at night?

I'm probably in the minority but I like predators. (4 legged, not 2 legged);)

We've got a LOT of coyote here and I enjoy hearing them at night - but I do check to see if my beagle is home - I think they'd find her quite tasty. We do shoot them if they start preying on livestock, though.

But yeah, I think I know what you mean. It's really "wild" - not like squirrel and cute fluffy bunny "wild", and it is a bit sinister.

Like I said - I'm probably in the minority. "Nature red in tooth and claw" and all that. ;)

Nov. 21, 2009, 07:30 PM
We live in, apparently, coyote high-density housing. There are nights when I've counted nearly 10 sets of eyes in the neighbor's cow field (think 40 acres)--and they can sound like a pack of 40 when they all get yipping and howling. My mag light is my friend when I'm doing night check on the horses and hens. I like to hear them well enough, but we've lost too many kitties to them to make me love them lots. And, now, with our tiny Moo Dog (12 pounds? not bright. bad eyes.) who loves to zip through the fence and chase any noise, I'm less fond of them than ever. But, still, they are part of the food chain and I respect that. The pups are cute, cute, cute, and there's a well-established den one farm over.

Nov. 21, 2009, 08:52 PM
It's common to hear a singing choir from all directions. Families spit up and call to each other and/or multiple families will go near the edge of their territories and chatter away to each other.
Coyote singing is actually a pretty complex language with definite different sounds meaning different things. If you listen to a certain family long enough you can pick out thier language. It's really cool.
A family unit will also mix up their singing when another group is within hearing distance...it's a trick they all use to make it sound like there's more of them than there actually are. Strength in numbers; so they'll use their own language and then add in new stuff here and there changing tones to sound like different/more coyotes.
Normally a night time concert is totally normal. I was listening to a newer mated pair who moved into my neighborhood last night having a singing argument with a chow down the street from me. It got really funny when another neighbor's beagle and two mixed hounds joined in. The baying and "yo-ing" the hounds did shut the rest up for a minute and then everyone started going off at once. They *really* needed an interpreter, LOL!

Nov. 21, 2009, 11:26 PM
It is great to have the perspective from people who really understand the context of species and environment. The howls give me chills and the yipping screaming of a kill ...
Coyotes take so many pets and have become such scavengers of easy targets because of their adaptability to suburban lifestyle they have become a bigger nuisance.
I too have mixed feelings and I know that nature doesn't judge or equate one kill from another. Coyotes have become a specialized predators with no physical boundaries, a uniquely skillful and organized killer. I remain unsentimental with a coyote on my property regardless .

Nov. 22, 2009, 12:03 AM
Even though I never feel truly threatened by them, I too find their racket unsettling! It's eery to know they are lurking when I can't see them and I'm always grateful to see my barn cats in at night check!!
Their language is intriguing, but I have no love for them.

Nov. 22, 2009, 12:17 AM
No, Viney, I don't fel threatened at all. I love them. I feel very privileged to be living where wild animals can exist and prosper. I absolutely love lying in our warm and cosy bed and listening to their hullabaloo. When an emergency vehicle goes past it sets them off and all the pups (cubs?) yip and practice their calls. I find it truly beautiful. The ones around here are quite small and scrawny and very cautious and timid. They live mostly on rodents...but are not too popular with sheep farmers who do not put their stock away at night or do not have good pagewire fencing.

Nov. 22, 2009, 09:42 AM
I don't mind hearing them as long as I know my cats are safely in the house for the night :)

Nov. 22, 2009, 10:09 AM
Not to hijack this thread, but when I was young there were no skunks on Long Island and now a friend of mine who has a large farm near Riverhead says she sees skunks when out riding and driving. How long before coyotes get there?

Nov. 22, 2009, 10:22 AM
There were some studies on voice and singing several years ago.
Humans and most animals can sing with one individual voice, but there is one tribe of native australians that can, from one individual, produce two sounds at the same time.
The only other specie that has been found in is the coyote, that is why they sound like many when just a few are singing.

A friend is a music professor at the college and we were discussing that some years ago, when those studies came out.
The Scientific American magazine had one article about that.
Someone with good research skills may find it.

Nov. 22, 2009, 10:42 AM
Yep, I'm in the club that finds their howling creepy but....I know how to shut it up!!! :D Call back! Sing back! Try to imitate them with your human voice. Sometimes they answer but usually they shut up!! :winkgrin: Works for me! Thank god I have no neighbors to hear me; they'd think I'd gone mad! :D My horses laugh. My dog is confused! Makes me laugh and un-creeps me! They don't like my voice!!! How rude!!! :p:p:p

Nov. 22, 2009, 12:03 PM
Wateryglen -you might appreciate the humor behind a sweatshirt I saw for sale.

On the front it read,

"Dance like nobody who can have you committed is watching".

In your case you'd just substitute the word "sing". ;)

Nov. 22, 2009, 12:14 PM
I have mixed feelings, too. The coyotes here have taken ALL of our barn cats, two puppies, and they've sent two other dogs to the vet for stitching on their bellies.

But there is something very terrifyingly intriguing about the singing/yipping they do. Our dogs join in every night--it's almost a ritual! I'll have to join in, too, and see if it makes a difference.:lol:

pony grandma
Nov. 22, 2009, 12:19 PM
Beautiful crisp clear star lit nights with a bright sliver moon and the coyotes singing -- it always makes me think of the scene in The Lady and the Tramp movie. :D

...am I thinking of the crosstown howlfest in 101 Dalmatians???

Nov. 22, 2009, 12:24 PM
Humans and most animals can sing with one individual voice, but there is one tribe of native australians that can, from one individual, produce two sounds at the same time.

Bluey - are you perhaps referring to throat singing? I think there is a tribe called, Tinglit or Tlinglit in Alaska. They're Inuit.

I heard them on a tv show like National Geographic or some sort of documentary - many years ago. I don't know how they developed that unique style - but since they are a hunter-gatherer tribe one wonders if they were inspired by an animal native to their environment.