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Home Mammals

Wild Burros of Picacho (with Coyote Finale)

In early April, we travel to the remote Picacho State Recreation Area located along the Colorado River, about 25 miles north of Yuma Arizona. We camp next to Taylor Lake, which is edged with cattail marshes. At night, wild burros sound off, their whining brays echoing across the marshland. Finally, two coyotes erupt, their ecstatic howls and tremolos ushering in the dawn.


Coyote Reverberations

It is late summer in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York. As night unfolds, crickets trill, their songs mesmerizing and tranquil. Then, without warning, Coyotes howl and yip, their reverberant echos reaching out in all directions. Exhilarating, intoxicating wild music, flowing deeply into the recesses of our minds.


Adirondack Coyote Song

Last week, I went on a brief camping trip to the Adirondack Mountains with my friend Beth Bannister. Late summer is a quiet time in the Northwoods, so our expectations were low. Although we had bad luck at first, something wonderful happened during the last night of our journey. At Helldiver Pond, deep in the Moose River Plains, we got lucky and captured a wonderful Coyote performance that ranks among the most compelling in my collection.


Wolf Mountain

While I’ve recorded in wild areas across North America for over 30 year, there is one species I’ve had trouble documenting … the Gray Wolf. Until last week, I had only managed to capture one recording of this timid and elusive mammal… the distant howls of a lone individual sounding off in the middle of the night in the White Mountains of Arizona …


Coyote Moon

While sifting through recordings yesterday, I came across my all-time favorite coyote outburst, captured shortly before dawn in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, back in 2011. I was with fellow recordist Ted Mack. We set up camp at the Cade’s Cove campground, but didn’t retire after dark like all the other campers. Instead, we rushed off to hike the 10-mile loop road (which is closed at night for cars), stopping here and there in hopes of recording something interesting. We were not disappointed …


Busy as a Beaver

Early last autumn, I recorded the sounds of a beaver colony that had taken up residence in a nearby wetland. My venture was a success. Not only did I capture the scraping, chewing and moaning sounds of the beaver, I also documented periodic visits by barred owls, their resonant hoots echoing across the landscape.

Although I’m happy with my recordings, a drama was unfolding that concerned me … a drought had nearly dried up the wetland, forcing the colony to move upstream to the last remaining section with water. In what appeared to be a frantic bid to avoid catastrophe, the beaver quickly built a new dam, constructed a new den, and then began deepening the channel by shoving large amounts of mud on to the banks … clearly a “last-ditch effort” to preserve their aquatic environment.


Porcupine Panderings

Ever heard a Porcupine squeal in the dark of the night? Well, I heard and recorded a squealing porcupine long ago in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, and that’s why I was able to identify the source of the mysterious sounds I captured just a few weeks ago in my beloved Shindagin Hollow


The Clucking Munks

Did you know that chipmunks respond to hawk fly-bys with a special “aerial predator alarm call” … a hollow, resonant cluck … cluck … cluck … cluck … cluck … that is unmistakable? Well, perhaps you’ve heard it but didn’t know who was making it or why … it sounds like this …

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