which animal chirps like a bird

I live smack dab in the middle of the woods in southeaster Pennsylvania, and many times over many years my family has been woken up in the middle of the night by blood-curdling screams emanating from the forest.

One time, I drove a riding mower into my garage, and the echoing roar of the 11-horsepower engine off of the cavernous walls was no match for the high-pitched wail of the possum I had inadvertently cornered.

The nocturnal (and sometimes daytime) sounds that these little (and sometimes not-so-little) critters make can be unnerving. With the thought in mind that knowledge is power (and in this case perhaps a security blanket), we’ve put together a list of what might be screaming in your woods, and the actual animal sounds to go with them, and hopefully we will put some of those wintertime ghost stories to rest.

Mountain lions and cougars (essentially the same animal, with different preferred names in different regions) are mostly found in the Western United States (as far east as Nebraska) and Florida. Although they have a reputation for giving camping humans the night terrors, they typically make little noise in the woods (that’s one reason hikers visiting their territory are advised to make plenty). When these animals do vocalize, they typically sound like a person whistling or a bird chirping. Their growl resembles that of a loud house cat. The associated “scream” of a mountain lion is typically a female looking for a male mate, whose range can encompass 50 to 150 square miles.

Barn owls are common across the United States with the exception of the extreme north. They favor woodlands, groves, cliffs, towns, farms and of course love barns, any area that provides open foraging territory, a territory averaging around 740 acres. Juvenile Barn owls prefer to hunt at night and begin searching for a mate around Halloween. The rasping cry they emit to attract a suitor is perfect for the season.

We realize goats don’t live in the woods, but if you happen to be taking advantage of one of a growing number of camping farm stays, you might just hear one of these bearded critters carrying on while trying to catch some shuteye and begin wondering if you’ve perhaps books the wrong venue. Plus, goats’ range of screams are so hilarious, we just had to include them. Goats bleat to communicate and may vocalize when they are hungry, thirsty injured or signaling a danger warning to the herd.

These mostly solitary nocturnal marsupials native to the West Coast, Midwest and Eastern United States may make a host of sounds when other possums are around – or when cornered by a lawnmower in the garage – including screeches, grunts, growls, hisses and chatters. A possum’s high-pitched scream usually occurs when possums are fighting or threatened.

Red foxes are prevalent across the entire Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Europe and Asia, and are also found in North Africa. Females (vixens) shriek to indicate that they’re ready to mate. Barks, yips and twitters are also common fox sounds. Male foxes also sometimes also scream when they are lookin’ for love.

This medium-sized wildcat’s range extends over most of Canada and Alaska and south into Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The lynx is considered endangered in New Hampshire, and it’s arguable presence in Colorado has been historical cause for contention between environmentalists and developers. These solitary animals utilize calls that can resemble a child wailing in distress to find each other during mating season (February to April). When two females square off, the “catcalls” they throw at each other in displays of dominance are downright unworldly.

An estimated 1 million North American elk (there are six subspecies) live across the western United States, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and seven Canadian provinces. That’s about one tenth of their estimated population, across all of north America, prior to European settlement. During mating season – the “rut,” or time when male elks are looking to hook up – runs mid-September through mid-October. Especially during this period, male elks let out loud, high-pitched whistle-like vocalization, often accompanied by a low-pitched roar, that can carry more than 1 mile

OK, rattlesnakes don’t scream, but people often do when they see one. These venomous snakes are found in almost every part of the continental United States. These predators live in a wide range of habitats, hunting prey such as rodents and birds. The loud rattling noise made by the rattle at the end of a rattlesnake’s tail deters predators and serves as a warning to humans. Rattlesnakes rarely bite unless provoked or threatened. The venomous bite is seldom fatal if treated properly and promptly.

So, the next time you hear something screaming in the woods, rest assured it’s probably just an animal looking for companionship.

Now, if you really want to have some fun, open the linked animal sounds in different windows on your computer and play them all at once. It’s arguable better than watching the Wizard of Oz cued up to Dark Side of the Moon.

Identifying Animal NoisesHearing scratching sounds in the night?

You will probably have conflicts between humans and wildlife with nocturnal animals like skunks, rats, mice, opossums, raccoons, bats, and rats. Although they are much rarer, coyotes, bobcats, and foxes are also nocturnal animals. Homeowners can also experience problems with squirrels and birds. Tree squirrels and some birds are diurnal.

Squirrels and birds like chimney swifts will make chirping noises. When squirrel kits feel distressed, they make bird-like chirping noises. When opossums are attempting to draw in a mage, they make clicking sounds.

Bats, opossums, and birds can make clicking sounds at night. The sounds of bats clicking and chirping can be heard by people in enclosed spaces like attics.

Squeaking noises might be the most common animal sound. A high-pitched squeaking sound can be heard from squirrels, bats, mice, rats, birds, and young raccoons. People frequently believe they have heard one species of animal when, in reality, they are dealing with another type of bothersome wildlife.

There are sounds that resemble screams that can be made by coyotes, bobcats, and foxes. To ward off rival mates, male red foxes imitate the sound of a shrieking female. A coyote howl is long, high-pitched. Bobcats can make loud yowls and screams. Some birds like starlings can make screaming sounds.

Not many animals will scream at night to bother homeowners. At night, opossums, skunks, and Eastern Screech Owls can produce screeching sounds. Opossums and skunks are usually silent to avoid detection.

What noises do animals make in your home?

The majority of wildlife that coexists with humans is capable of producing a wide range of sounds. Raccoons have over 200 vocalizations they use to communicate. Identifying the animals on your property or inside your home can be aided by hearing the noise and acting upon it.

My family has often been awakened in the middle of the night by spine-tingling screams coming from the forest because I live right in the middle of the woods in southeast Pennsylvania.

With the exception of the far north, barn owls are widespread in the United States. The areas they prefer for foraging are forests, groves, cliffs, towns, farms, and of course, barns. Their average territory is 740 acres. Young Barn owls start looking for a partner around Halloween and prefer to hunt at night. Their rasping cry, which draws a suitor, is appropriate for the time of year.

OK, rattlesnakes don’t scream, but people often do when they see one. These venomous snakes are found in almost every part of the continental United States. These predators live in a wide range of habitats, hunting prey such as rodents and birds. The loud rattling noise made by the rattle at the end of a rattlesnake’s tail deters predators and serves as a warning to humans. Rattlesnakes rarely bite unless provoked or threatened. The venomous bite is seldom fatal if treated properly and promptly.

Although goats don’t actually live in the woods, if you’re enjoying one of the increasingly popular farm stays that offer camping, you might hear one of these furry creatures snoring away while attempting to get some rest and start to question if you booked the wrong place. Goats’ hilarious range of screams is another reason we had to include them. Goats use bleating as a form of communication. They may also use vocalizations to express hunger, thirst, injury, or to alert the herd to danger.

These mostly solitary nocturnal marsupials native to the West Coast, Midwest and Eastern United States may make a host of sounds when other possums are around – or when cornered by a lawnmower in the garage – including screeches, grunts, growls, hisses and chatters. A possum’s high-pitched scream usually occurs when possums are fighting or threatened.