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Coyotes Howling

coyote 156Eastern Coyotes are heard with some regularity in New England, especially in the fall. The typical family unit consists of two parents and their young that have yet to disperse (often females). Together these four or five Coyotes serenade us with a very distinctive chorus, often several times a night. One wildlife biologist described this chorus as starting with a few falsetto yips, then blossoming into something resembling maniacal laughter, with the yips stringing together into chattering howls. Coyotes use their voices to communicate with members of their family, as well as with other Coyotes. If the family members have been off hunting by themselves, the howling serves to call the family back together again. The familial chorus also serves as a warning to other Coyotes not to trespass onto their territory. (Unless otherwise noted, my photographs are taken in the wild. This photograph was taken at Squam Lakes Science Center.)

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5 responses

  1. Doreen Morse

    Beautiful photo no matter where it was taken.

    October 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    • Thank you so much, Doreen. It helps when the subject is such a beauty!

      October 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm

  2. Kathie Fiveash

    I live on Isle au Haut Maine, an island 6 miles out to sea in Penobscot Bay. Until about 10 years ago, we had occasional coyote sightings – probably individual animals who dispersed out here, swimming island to island. We now have a breeding population – I think that as the mainland became fully saturated with coyotes, the island off in the distance began to more look promising to young dispersing animals. The longest island to island swim is about a mile. I think we have two families, and we now hear coyotes regularly and see them occasionally. They look big and healthy. A few have been shot, and weigh up to 50 pounds with beautiful thick coats. We think they are reducing our overpopulation of deer – a good thing since we have a problem with Lyme disease. Their scat, which they like to leave in the middle of the road and the trails, has deer hair and bones, vole bones, snowshoe hare fur, and lots of blueberries, huckleberries, and apples seasonally. The reduction in deer numbers seems to be increasing the diversity of wildflowers and other forbs, as well as increasing the number of seedling deciduous trees, which the deer in this unappetizing land of spruce consume voraciously. It is amazing what the introduction of a top predator does to the ecology!

    October 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm

  3. What a beauty! I treasure the coyote sounds we hear year-round here.

    October 28, 2013 at 6:10 pm

  4. Mary Ellen

    Beautiful photo!

    October 28, 2013 at 7:38 pm

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