Why do Wolves Howl at the Full Moon?

Of all the sounds that wolves make it is the howl that they are most famous for. Wolves are also known to bark, yip, whimpers and growl.

To the human ear the howl is the music of the wild. But to the wolves, the howl has many social functions although no one is completely sure why the wolves howl. Each wolf has their own identifying howl. It functions much as a fingerprint does to a human.

wolves howling

It is also known that no two wolves howl on the same note either, but rather they howl in harmony most likly to sound like a bigger pack. Howling is also contagious because once a wolf starts howling, then others will join in.

But do they really howl at the Full Moon? There are many reasons noted that wolves may howl but as for howling at the Full Moon this is most likely a myth. It is true that that the brighter the night, the more active they become. Because the Full Moon is the brightest night of the month, it does appear that they purposefully howl then.

As for some of the other reasons they howl, it is known that the howl is the social glue for a wolf pack. It can be a call to locate a separated wolf’s pack members. Other reasons might be that a wolf is simply happy or maybe just lonely and wanting companionship or looking for a mate. Wolf howls also are a rallying call right before a hunt for food. It can also be used as a way to warn away other packs from their territory. So there are many reasons that wolves might howl.

One thing that can’t be debated though is the fact that it is indeed the main form of social communication in a wolf pack. The next time you hear the wolves howl take a moment to let your heart sing along with them – for it is the song of the wild that has been sung through the ages.

The following are examples of some of the different types of wolf howls:

A “Lonesome” Howl

A Pup Howl

A Confrontational Howl

A Chorus Howl

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