One of the most spectacular sounds of the
wolf is the howl. Wolves may howl for many reasons. One reason might be because they are
telling other wolves too stay off their territory if so they are to close, and the intruders
might be attacked and killed. Another reason might be because they are mourning the lose of
a loved wolf. These are only two of the interesting reasons why wolves howl.
The howl of the wolf in many ways
is interesting. Wolves howl for many different reasons. It might be because they have
successfully brought down game, another might be because it has left the pack and is looking
for a lone wolf like itself. Wolves howl through the mouth which is slightly opened with the
lips drawn forward. A howling wolf will generally hold its head up and lay back its ears.
A howling chorus will often last for up to twenty seconds. After a short breather another
howl may follow so that the howling may go on for several minutes altogether. Sometimes
individual wolves go on howling for hours. In that case the pauses between howls are generally
long. On a calm night, howling can broadcast one hundred and twenty square miles.
If lone wolves do meet each other
by howling. They can meet, run together, perhaps mate and, if they find a unoccupied
territory, successfully bring up their pups. When one wolf is separated from the pack,
it may howl to indicate its location to the others, and they may howl back to show where
they are. Sometimes when a wolf howls the whole pack will all of a sudden start a chorus
of howling. The initial howl of an animal of low rank, for instance is a less likely to
trigger a chorus of howling than that of a superior animal.
Wolves are also able to distinguish
the howling of a strange wolf (or dogs) from those known to them. Now I hope you know why
wolves howl and many other interesting things I mentioned in my project. Wolves howl to
communicate their position, to find other wolves, to warn intruders, to mourn, and for
the fun of it. Like at Wolf Hollow, the wolves felt we were intruding on their territory and
they howled to let us know.
Information from Running Deer's Longhouse
Used with Written Permission.