Coyote Echos

photo of a coyote howling at dawn (from iStockPhoto)

Way back in 1994 (seems like yesterday), Ted Mack and I traveled for nearly six months, gathering soundscapes and species recordings. While visiting Valentine National Wildlife Refuge in northcentral Nebraska, Ted managed to snag a close-and-clean recording of a coyote barking and howling, with others sounding off in the distance:

Coyote barking and howling, with others sounding off in response, around 4:30 am, 14 March 1994, Valentine National Wildlife Refuge. Recorded by Ted Mack.

This is an engaging recording. The nearest coyote is quite loud, even though I’ve mellowed him down quite a bit. Yes, he’s rather in-your-face, but nonetheless this is a really fine species portrait and the echos of both the close individual and the distant coyotes add considerable depth to the listening experience. I particularly enjoy the group outburst at the end. Listen also for the soft moans of Greater Prairie Chickens and the calls of Canada Geese.

What do you think of this recording? While certainly not in the relaxation category, do you agree that it is compelling and instructive? Though some of the outbursts are loud, they’re fairly easy on the ears, aren’t they? I’m very curious as to how everyone will respond, given that I’ve mainly been posting “easy listening” recordings.

By the way, my plan is to use this rather brief recording (I’ve posted the entire thing) at the very beginning of a title that will be called “Prairie Spring,” which will actually be a re-mastering of an earlier version that I produced years ago. “Prairie Spring” will feature a variety of prairie soundmakers, including Greater Prairie Chicken, Sharp-tailed Grouse, American Bittern, Western Meadowlark, Baird’s Sparrow, and many more.


  1. This is a wonderful recording! The wild west sure is wild. We’re going to Colorado in spring. While there, I’ll be looking for birds such as Lark Bunting, Black-Billed Magpie, Sage Thrasher, and Pygmy Nuthatch. There’s many more that aren’t found in Michigan (although all these four birds, except for Pygmy Nuthatch, have ended up in Michigan as vagrants at one time or another).

  2. I have only heard a coyote once so far. It was at my grandparent’s house, at night, in the dead of winter. It was coming from the woods behind their house. It sounded kind of eerie.

    The birds I hear: Sure enough, Greater Prairie Chicken, Canada Goose, and I heard a Great Horned Owl hoot 3 times. I hear a chorus frog as well, just listen closely, and with best results, through headphones.

  3. I recently discovered “Music of Nature” and absolutely love it. I’m trying to identify all the mysterious music that surrounds me. The coyotes were great. Thank you.

  4. I loved listening to this. My husband and I just purchased a second home in the Catskill Mountains and in our first morning there, in February, we stepped onto the deck and heard coyotes calling from all directions. It was such a great experience and we look forward to many more choruses!

  5. I love this as it is. I find it relaxing to listen to them call. I also enjoy listening to coyotes sing here at night. Thank you for sharing this!

  6. I enjoy it. I’ve only heard coyotes in the wild once. Your recording is much “closer up” than that, as what I heard was way in the distance.

    As to recordings, I’d like a CD that featured sounds from all across the U.S. Kind of a “take a trip in your mind” thing.

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