Tall Tales From The Field

The Howling Coyote

I was about 50 feet from this coyote at Yellowstone National Park when this one let out a sound that is still ringing in my ears . I just wish I was recording the sound. I don’t think the coyote knew I was so close.

“Howling is a basic communication behavior in coyotes,” says Gary San Julian, a Penn State University professor of wildlife resources. “It has several functions. One is to call the pack—really a family group—back together again after a period of individual hunting. A second reason that coyotes howl is to advertise their presence to other packs, essentially warning those other family groups against trespassing across territorial boundaries.”



23 responses

  1. Ahooooooo!!!!!! Nice capture.


    March 24, 2015 at 11:40 AM

  2. cooooooooooool! Gruß Alois


    March 24, 2015 at 12:09 PM

  3. Wow, look at those chompers! 😉 Hearing coyotes always raises the hair on the back of my neck, even though I know I am safe, it is clearly a primal fear kind of thing. And I’ve never heard them THAT close!


    March 24, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    • Yes Eliza, I think the hair on my back raised as well

      Liked by 1 person

      March 24, 2015 at 6:33 PM

      • I just remembered, years ago, our seeing a pair of ‘disabled’ coyotes in a local zoo when my kids were small. My two-yr.old was standing next to the fence and one took a look at him and set to howling, woke up his partner and the two of them chorused. Even though there was a fence between us, the mama protector in me grabbed that kid in seconds flat!
        I love the idea of what they do for an ecosystem, but I have trouble with them in my yard, lol.


        March 24, 2015 at 6:48 PM

  4. Amy

    Is it safe to be so close to the coyote?


    March 24, 2015 at 1:10 PM

    • Coyotes or wolves don’t bother humans. I didn’t seee him and he didn’t see me until he started howling


      March 24, 2015 at 6:33 PM

  5. Nothing like throwing your head back and letting rip


    March 24, 2015 at 1:17 PM

  6. Great photos!


    March 24, 2015 at 6:14 PM

  7. Great capture!


    March 24, 2015 at 6:51 PM

  8. Wow! Wonderful! 🙂



    March 24, 2015 at 6:55 PM

  9. Ohw wow, that is so cool! Must have been a tremendous experience. I would love to hear that sound once in real life!

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Kind regards,


    March 25, 2015 at 1:06 AM

  10. Love these photos! We have coyotes here in Georgia, and I have seen several from a distance but none up close.


    March 25, 2015 at 4:56 PM

  11. What a terrific opportunity that was!


    March 25, 2015 at 7:21 PM

  12. What a great capture … and exceptional experience. Gotta try YNP in winter sometime soon.


    March 27, 2015 at 12:54 PM

  13. Beautiful shots! My husband had the privilege of watching this with a pack of wolves about 50 yards away while on a tour in Yellowstone a few years back.


    March 28, 2015 at 8:48 PM

    • That would be quite a moment. I was driving a snowcoach in Yellowstone a few winters ago and got really close to the most beautiful wolf I had ever seen. But I did not have my camera with me to get the shot. These coyotes were beautiful too

      Liked by 1 person

      March 29, 2015 at 12:37 AM

  14. Good timing and wonderful shots ! I’ve seen the film Wolf Totem yesterday, and your post makes me think about it. These creatures are fascinating.


    March 30, 2015 at 12:49 AM

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