Coyote Behavior Question

MarcoPollo

Songster
Nov 24, 2012
294
58
181
Hot Coffee, MS
Does anyone know why coyotes get together and yip and howl and make a bunch of noise for a bit? Are they killing something? Are they just having a meeting? Are they calling to their young?
When it happens, the dogs all start howling and the noise is eerie. I'd like to know what is happening cause it seems like the dogs already understand, lol.
 

Bunnylady

POOF Goes the Pooka
11 Years
Nov 27, 2009
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I've always heard it's a territorial display, sort of like the scent-marking that they do by peeing all over the place. That would make sense, since your dogs howling back says, in effect, "this place is ours!"
 

KGreene

In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 23, 2014
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its just communication... it could be "re-call" of the pack when many have gone in different directions to hunt. it could also be (after they've stopped and are listening) to hear if other packs are off in the distance (or near by) indicating that a certain piece of real estate is under the patrol of another pack. Or I suppose an array of other things. But almost always some form of communication. it may be a good thing that the dogs are howling back, the coyotes may interpret this as another pack that's in control of that turf, and they may show a bit more respect of the area..... Although I wouldn't trust anything they have to say !!!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
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There have been coyotes around here for the last ten years or so - generally lone animals as indicated by single sets of tracks in the snow, but I have never heard any vocalization from them. This year apparently a pair has raised pups on the wooded ridge North of the beagle club. They have been 'talking' all summer long. About two weeks ago what sound like a pup started yipping/howling in the hayfield next to my house. After 3 or 4 calls, I could hear the 'pack' answer from their 'home' territory. The pup immediately shut up, and I am assuming headed for home. In this case the vocalization appeared to be communication for sure.
 

MarcoPollo

Songster
Nov 24, 2012
294
58
181
Hot Coffee, MS
Thanks everyone. I have heard them a few times since reading your replies and can tell it's communication, and not necessarily of any certain type, when they yip and howl. I especially heard them at sunset. Quite strange one evening was when they were raising a raucous across the street in a wooded area. I wasn't too concerned, just listened to them and they sounded like they were getting further and further away. Then the unnerving sound started in the woods right next to where I was at closing up the chickens for the night. I didn't care for that at all! I guess they were two different packs communicating with each other.
Then the dogs started to howl.
I don't know why but I don't like the sound of coyotes. Thankfully I never see them, only hear them.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
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its just communication... it could be "re-call" of the pack when many have gone in different directions to hunt. it could also be (after they've stopped and are listening) to hear if other packs are off in the distance (or near by) indicating that a certain piece of real estate is under the patrol of another pack. Or I suppose an array of other things. But almost always some form of communication. it may be a good thing that the dogs are howling back, the coyotes may interpret this as another pack that's in control of that turf, and they may show a bit more respect of the area..... Although I wouldn't trust anything they have to say !!!
LOL, me either!
 

Ilovefarming

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 12, 2014
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78
When they howl it could mean a lot of things. From what I have heard, one single eerie howl means like, "Helloo ? Is anybody out there?" It is a greeting call. Coyotes are very sociable animals. If another pack hears the greeting howl, then they will answer in an eerie sounding flurry of yapping and sqealing and howling and barking, ect. If you hear a short, gruff, single yap usually repeated 3 or four times, that is a warning bark telling another coyote nearby "Hey, do not come any closer!" A lot of times packs will communicate with eachother by howling and barking together. The coyotes where I live always howl when they hear an ambulance or a police siren! Haha. I have an awful coyote problem where I live.
 
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