Eerie Night Noises

By  | November 16, 2020 | Filed under: News

MONTGOMERY-Being alone at night in the woods can stir the imagination. Upon hearing the many strange animal sounds of the night, it is easy to understand how over the years these sounds might be attributed to some bizarre creature. Depending on what state you are in, you may have encountered some unique animal sounds at night, but these peculiar sounds are also often heard throughout most US States.

Can you think of an animal of the night that occurs in every state? Apparently, one example is bigfoot/sasquatch/skunk ape or whatever you prefer to call this incredibly elusive creature. According to a database compiled by the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, bigfoot has been encountered in 49 states including five sightings in tiny Rhode Island! Lacking the ability to traverse large expanses of open water, bigfoot has yet to reach the shores of Hawaii. No doubt many supposed encounters with bigfoot were simply people unfamiliar with the variety and more unusual vocalizations of some common nighttime animals. Bigfoot aside, some common nighttime animals that might come to mind include a few owl species and the raccoon. The great horned owl is found in every continental state, barn owls in nearly every contiguous state, and the barred owl is found throughout the eastern United States. Raccoons are found in every lower forty-eight state as well.

Though owls are birds and raccoons are mammals, they do share at least two traits. They’re nocturnal, being primarily active at night, and they can make sounds you might think our friendly forest creatures could never emit.

Owls don’t only “hoot.” Young great horned owls will make screeching noises when begging for food. The barred owl has an impressive variety of calls including various scream-like calls. If you are not familiar with the scream of a barn owl, that is one sound that would send you running from a darkened building. To hear the unique sounds of our resident owls check out All About Birds. Finally, enter “raccoon screaming” into a YouTube search box and you might be surprised at the vocalizations of this familiar critter of the woodlands and now urban areas.

Of course, if you hear something that sounds like a woman screaming somewhere out in the woods during the dead of night, it is most likely a panther and even more likely a black panther, but that is another story……Mythical Big Black Cat 

To learn more about our resident nocturnal wildlife such as owls check out the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Watchable Wildlife Website.

Media Release/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

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