Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WHY DO COYOTES BARK(instead of yipping and howling?).............Stan Gehrt(Lead Biologist of the decade running Chicago Urban Coyote Study) checked in with me on this question and fine tuned what the "Coyote Yipps Blogger" stated the other day in his writings......Coyotes bark when alarmed, sense danger and want to warn other family members of potential danger

Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 5:33 AM
To: Meril, Rick
Subject: Re: FW: [New post] Spooked

Coyotes definitely bark when alarmed or when they need to warn others.  They've done it to me, when I surprised a mother with pups.  She barked repeatedly and stomped her feet, not advancing but not retreating, until all her pups were out of harms way.  The pups scattered on the first bark, they knew right away what it meant. 

Although that was not necessarily the case here, I'm sure they do it under different situations, including warning their family groups.
All coyote barking that I have ever heard stems from incidents with dogs -- an intrusion of some kind. This distressed barking should not be confused with the joyful howls that coyotes are prone to. Here I'm referring to distressed barking caused by the intrusion. But the intrusion doesn't necessarily always involve an intentional intrusion.

Today, for instance, this coyote, who obviously was caught off his guard, became surprised or spooked when two dogs and their owner appeared within the coyote's safety range suddenly and without warning. The dogs had not chased the coyote at all, though there may have been canine communication of some sort -- by eye contact and body language. Dog owners are seldom aware of this communication.  The spooked coyote ran off to a high perch where he began a long, distressed, and drawn out barking session. He was "bitching" and "screaming" to let everyone know he was upset, and this continued for a good long time -- until the "perpetrators" had walked on, far out of sight.

In this instance, when the coast had become clear, the coyote trotted off to another part of the path where he knew the dogs and walker would be returning, and waited vigilantly. I observed him watch them coming. He continued in this same spot until the dogs and owner were within about 150 feet, and then he stealthily slithered from view. There had been no barking the second time around -- that part of the incident was over.

 This time the coyote just observed, to assure himself that the dogs and owner would be leaving in the same direction from which they had come, and maybe to let them know that he was still there!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information on barking by coyotes. We had one close by our house recently that barked for quite a while...and someone had just seen a young one that day, so maybe a barking mama.

Rick Meril said...

glad you enjoyed!

Unknown said...

I was walking in a midwest forest preserve with my dog and a friend with her dog. We surprised a juvenile coyote, stopped to observe him and he started barking. We took our cue and quickly walked away but he followed at quick trott and continued a high pitched bark. Our loud yells did not deter him nor did our two 80pound dogs who were leashed. He continued to bark loudly after we were out of sight . What do u make of this? What is the best way to deter a coyote if this happens again?