Coyote Reverberations

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AT DUSK on July 11 of this year, I visited Cornell University’s Arnot Teaching and Research Forest, 4200 acres of forest and shrubby clearings, with grassy meadows blanketing a high ridge. Thankfully, the area is open to the public and the gates remain open at night, at least for now. Accompanied by fellow adventurer Beth Bannister, I drove up a steep road to the meadows and then looped around, parked and walked to a remote forested spot, where we placed a binaural soundscape microphone in hopes of capturing something interesting through the night hours.

Arnot Forest

Arnot Forest
78FX+C3 Cayuta, NY, USA
Direction
Usually, we camp on location, but on this night we headed back to our respective households in nearby Ithaca to insure a good night’s rest. Rising early, we arrived at Arnot Forest shortly after dawn, picked up the microphone and recorder, and then headed straight to my studio to see, or rather hear, if we managed to snag anything of use.

To our delight, we quickly discovered that we had recorded three separate coyote outbursts, all taking place fairly close-by, though separated by long periods of silence. What immediately struck us was the beautiful echoes or “reverberations” of the howls and yips bouncing off the surrounding hills. What’s more, these are northeastern coyotes, which are quite a bit larger than coyotes in the Western States, and produce lower-pitched howls and yips that sound somewhat wolf-like and are quite pleasing to the ear (the cacophonous yipping of western coyotes is definitely not easy on one’s ears).

Note: The recording featured below is “3D binaural soundscape”. Please wear headphones for a spacious and immersive listening experience.

Coyotes sounding off in the middle of the night at Arnot Experimental Forest near Ithaca, N.Y. © Lang Elliott.

Often referred to as “Coy-Wolves,” eastern coyotes are not hybrids, though hybridization probably did occur “way back when” (and may still occur, but only in areas where the two species overlap). This may explain why eastern coyotes are about ten pounds heavier than their western counterparts. Of the dozens of coyote performances I’ve recorded through the years, all my favorites are from the Eastern states.

Of note is that I’ve manipulated the featured recording in two ways. First off, I’ve removed the long time intervals between the three outbursts, so that you can enjoy them all over a span of five minutes or so. And secondly, I have added a cricket chorus to the background. In the July 11 recording, there were virtually no background sounds other than the occasional rustling of mice or other small creatures. So I waited a few weeks and then went back to the exact same spot to record the pleasing insect chorus that becomes prominent by the end of July.

I rather like the mix and feel it improves the listening experience. Some, however, may feel that adding the crickets is misleading and invalidates the recording. In general I don’t do such layering, but in this case I decided it would be a good idea, especially given that I recorded the insects at the same location and that the coyotes are as likely to howl in August as they are July. So, as a self-proclaimed “recording artist,” I’ve opted to use my self-issued “artistic license” to bring more aesthetic balance to the soundscape, as opposed to treating it as an exact scientific documentation of sound events. How dare I do such a thing!??

So there you have it … Coyote Reverberations. I hope you appreciate these incredible coyote performances, along with my mix with insect songs. Please let me know what you think!

As always, I truly appreciate your feedback, so I encourage you to leave a comment below.

Naturally Yours,



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138 Comments
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Judy Nietsche
Judy Nietsche
19 days ago

Just listened to these wonderful Eastern coyotes yesterday, and then last night we were awakened by a group of them singing near our Greenfield MA home. My spouse grabbed her phone and recorded not only their voices but our little dog’s voice joining in. I’d love to include the voice memo file here, if you let me know how to do it. Thanks so much for sharing your work.

Judy Nietsche
Judy Nietsche
18 days ago
Reply to  Lang Elliott

That I can do–stay tuned. And thanks!

Christine Bogdanowicz
22 days ago

Lang, this is definitely my favorite recording of yours! I enjoy all of your acoustic creations, but this one really fills my heart and soul with awe, and longing. Kinda like when I’m actually out IN Nature. Fabulous stuff…We don’t often get to hear coyotes in our neck of the woods (although I know they are here/we see them, very rarely). We’ve mostly heard the call of the “Song dog” out West. And here’s a story for you… My listening experience was enhanced by the sounds of a flock of geese flying overhead, outside our home as I was listening.… Read more »

Joni James
Joni James
23 days ago

Love this recording. Glad you added the cricket chorus— it adds to the experience. Always love your recordings. I find I experience nature more through hearing than through the visual. Thank you!

Lang Elliott
23 days ago
Reply to  Joni James

Thank you Joni!

lori
lori
23 days ago

i LOVE each and every one of your recordings. that being said, this particular one, i can say that i actually STARED at the howling of the coyote. i was there. absolutely beautiful, Lang. i thought the crickets added color too. lori i greatly appreciate the map by the way

Martin Winfield
25 days ago

Hi Lang, good to see/hear you posting again! I love those eerie coyote calls in the stillness of the night. You sure have more “night music” than we do here in Britain! And, FWIW, I think your mix is legit. You were honest about this & the cricket chorus give the coyotes a sense of scale, something which is often difficult to achieve when the background is truly silent. Keep up the good work:)

Jan
Jan
25 days ago

Wonderful!!! This is fascinating to me to hear the difference in timbre between eastern coyotes and western coyotes in their vocalizations. I live in West Los Angeles right across the street from a golf course where a whole pack of coyotes has lived for many, many years. Their yips and howls are higher pitched than this. Thank you so much for sharing! I really enjoyed it.

Louise Henrie
Louise Henrie
26 days ago
Teresa Strong
Teresa Strong
26 days ago

Beautiful!

Cyndi Barron
Cyndi Barron
27 days ago

I love the combination of crickets and coyotes. Their haunting sound of the coyotes is beautiful. I can almost feel the night air when I listen. Thanks for bringing us all the wonderful sounds of nature.

Herbst Mond
Herbst Mond
27 days ago

Wonderful music of nature as always! I always look forward to your emails! Can’t wait to hear the new update coming in a few days from in the ‘Pure Nature White Noise App for iPhone! Keep up the great work!

Margaret
Margaret
27 days ago

I like the cricket chorus! The insects set the stage of where you are. The coyote songs might be too harsh to hear by themselves.

Donne
Donne
27 days ago

There was such a large range between the first howler’s deep notes (third segment) and the last howler’s high yips. Great recording and thank you for sharing your adventures with us.

Linda
Linda
27 days ago

I LOVE this! Gave me chills listening to the beauty of it! Thank you!

Joy Harp
Joy Harp
28 days ago

Lang…I thoroughly enjoyed this and am going to pass it along in my newsletter. It’s fun to listen and think of them as our Ozark coyotes eastern cousin..and I love the cricket chorus you added. Joy

Chris
28 days ago

Amazing recording, I love the reverb.

Dell
Dell
28 days ago

I live in a rural village in Vermont, and only hear these wild singers occasionally, but what a treat when they call out to each other! Thanks for this wonderful recording (and I’m fine with the crickets’ chorus mixed in, along with the occasional one joining in from somewhere in my house!)

Pamela Williams
Pamela Williams
28 days ago

I really enjoyed listening to the coyotes. I live in Northeast Texas at a lake. Lots of “Piney Woods”, so I hear them close to my house and enjoy the deer that come to eat the pears from my tree. So, thank you for this. I love it.

Ravensong
Ravensong
28 days ago

Oh my, this is so beautiful! Thank you. I think I could put this on a loop for a few hours and fall to sleep by it.

Ravensong
Ravensong
28 days ago
Reply to  Lang Elliott

I used to work at Cornell, and lived in Willseyville – occasionally was treated to the sounds of the coyotes at night. I’m up north in Geneva now, and miss them. This was a delight.

Ravensong
Ravensong
28 days ago
Reply to  Lang Elliott

Actually, no, I haven’t. It was one of those places I always “meant to” but didn’t make the time while I was there. Looks – um, sounds – like a place I need to go.

Ravensong
Ravensong
28 days ago
Reply to  Lang Elliott

Oh no. How sad. I’ll just bite my tongue here. Thanks for letting me know, Lang … I was about to put it on my “must go soon” list.

Geri Vistein
28 days ago

Hi Lang, Maine Coyote biologist here again to delight in your sound recording of our Native Wild Dog. Thank you for honoring Coyote by sharing their songs. May I ask your permission once again to use this recording in my work..and might you send me the link for it. Every time I use it, people know it is from you!

Geri Vistein
28 days ago
Reply to  Lang Elliott

Thank you Lang. You sent me links, but you can send me a mp3 version. Just to help you out, I use them when I give my powerpoint talks…the people love them! And I have my webmaster place them on my Coyote website. Wat ever you think would be best for those uses. In much gratitude! And you know that I always attribute them to you.

germaine
germaine
28 days ago

Sign up to newsletter, please

Jean
Jean
28 days ago

The wolves sound beautiful to me but alarming to my dog. I could listen to just the crickets for hours, a perfect lullaby. That’s the sound I went to sleep with as a child. Thank you! Please keep me on the mailing list.

Carol
Carol
28 days ago

It’s a wonderful recording! Thank you for including the crickets – a favorite summer sound for me.

Linda
Linda
28 days ago

I’ve never heard coyote in the wild- hauntingly beautiful! I think the subtle addition of crickets in the background is perfect and enhances the listening experience. Not to mention they, and Katydids are standard summer night time sounds I am familiar with.

John C Johnson
John C Johnson
28 days ago

Another recording to add to my “Favorites”! I also approve of the blending in of the crickets as this adds a nice balance and contrast to the Canis Latrans. Great work!

Carlene Squires
Carlene Squires
28 days ago

I love hearing coyotes singing. Even my pup took notice. Thank you!

Janice Runyan
28 days ago

The echoing effect is wonderful. The pitch is much lower than the coyotes we hear in WV’s Northern Panhandle. I like the insect sounds to give a sense of place, like seeing the background in a photo.

Cori
Cori
28 days ago

This is extremely beautiful. In regards to the crickets – to be honest, I generally prefer nature recordings to be left just the way they are. Even some longer “silent” intervals are okay with me…I prefer to listen to nature as it is. But that is just my personal take 🙂

Nadine Mayo
Nadine Mayo
28 days ago

Wonderful, thank you!

Chiara
Chiara
28 days ago

Yes, the addition of the crickets gives a sense of place. And that howling! Those coyotes own the place.

John Gregoire
John Gregoire
28 days ago

Thanks Lang. Wonderful animals that we enjoy nightly.

Ben Gottesman
Ben Gottesman
28 days ago

Great stuff Lang!

Laura Crockett
28 days ago

This puts me in the mood to dream dreams of the ancient past.

Trudy Gerlach
Trudy Gerlach
28 days ago

Beautiful, eerie, thrilling.

Debbie
Debbie
28 days ago

First time I used my headphones at home. Such a cool experience. It is like a coyote chorus the way their unique parts all fit together. I think the crickets sound very natural in the background and are soothing.

Cheryl
Cheryl
28 days ago

Love this! I recently moved from IL to south Florida and just starting to learn about the birds and wildlife here. People have seen coyotes but I haven’t seen or heard them yet. This is lovely and thank you for sharing it.

Robert Buck
Robert Buck
28 days ago

I always love to hear the vocalizations of our fellow non-human denizens of this world. At night, lying in bed before falling asleep, it is always a treat to hear coyotes, foxes, or owls. Your recording is great Lang! A couple of years ago, you joined one of Kristi Dranginis’s birdsong classes of which I was a part.

Robert Buck
Robert Buck
28 days ago
Reply to  Lang Elliott

She is and continues to inspire. I make the Master’s Class Zoom gatherings as I am able and always enjoy the hour long sessions. I retook the 2 Birdsong courses over this past spring and enjoyed them getting so much more on the second time through. Birdsong is so fascinating and I continue to learn!

Lyn Miller
Lyn Miller
28 days ago

Hauntingly beautiful. Thanks!

Marjorie Cox Fabian
Marjorie Cox Fabian
28 days ago

This recording is just so beautiful! It brings me peace. We used to hear (and see) coyotes on our small farm in Central Wisconsin, but there are more houses and mobile campgrounds being built around here and a lot of the wildlife is disappearing, to my great sadness. I haven’t heard a coyote for so long and this brought back many memories. Thanks so much.

Holly Nolting
Holly Nolting
28 days ago

Beautiful, and gives the feeling of the only sounds on earth

Dan Dugan
28 days ago

Great catch, Lang. I never mix, either, and I think your mix is appropriate. The crickets give a scale to the soundscape.

Eliza
Eliza
28 days ago

Fabulous, Lang. As I love hearing crickets this time of year, I think adding them to the mix was the thing to do. I always smile when I hear coyotes call at night when I’m tucked up in bed. I love that they live nearby my western MA home.

Judy Bennett
Judy Bennett
28 days ago

I absolutely loved this! Thank you for sharing it!

Sally
28 days ago

This is wonderful! Has anybody every figured out why coyotes and wolves can sound creepy or sad and mysterious . . . to humans? Obviously, the dogs who join in don’t feel saddened. Rather, they seem to enjoy the whole thing, especially when they can howl, too.

Cynthia Soebbing
Cynthia Soebbing
28 days ago

Hauntingly beautiful! Different than our Illinois coyotes. Thank for the recording.

Nancy
Nancy
29 days ago

We hear the coyotes at our Ranch south of Cole Camp, MO but nothing as intense and loud as your video. The coyote sounds are incredible. Nancy MHS Class of 68..

Susan
29 days ago

Wow, Lang! I love it! Including the layering with crickets. An excellent use of artistic license. I have 2 cardigan corgis and they both came running in to listen. One of them chimed in howling along!! (and she usually only howls with the tea kettle!) Nicely done. Thank you for sharing. I always enjoy your blissful captures of nature in sound.

Harriet O'Brien
Harriet O'Brien
29 days ago

So, so lovely! Thank you, Lang! And I agree that the crickets are perfect.

Beth
Beth
29 days ago

This was beautiful! I played it to my dog and she was very interested in it.

Carol J
Carol J
29 days ago

Thank you for the coyote recording! To me the long single howls are so compelling, declaring coyote power, urging us to venture into their world…if we dare.
Most of us rarely, if ever, hear coyote calls and conversations. Which makes your recording and sharing of them so valuable. Thank you! That’s great you took a ‘sabbatical’ to listen to the wild world, recording only in your mind and heart.

Pam
Pam
29 days ago

Sounds like what I hear from my deck while in the hot tub at night (with the insect sounds too!) – thank you.

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