On Tuesday this week, we walked out of the West Dorm around a quarter to seven and were greeted by a beautiful scene: the moon was just setting over the horizon and was a bright orange pink as it sank out of sight. Watching the moon set, we tuned our ears to listen to the sounds of the morning, and right away we noticed a new sound. Barks and yips interspersed with howls and wails chorused across the frozen winter world.
Excited, we wondered how to be sure if we were hearing wolves or coyotes. After viewing a helpful video from the National Park Service (check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqBrPobll1A), we learned that the barking and yipping gave away our wild morning neighbors as coyotes. The communication of coyotes this time of year is likely related to the beginning of their mating season. Coyotes will mate through the end of February and pups will be born in April. Next time you step outside, pause and listen, you never know what you might hear!
– Sarah Waddle