Tuesday, July 29, 2014

That "Old Lady Getting Murdered" Kind of Noise

Cicadas, other insects, and frogs make up a good percentage of the natural noise that a person might hear outside at night around Northern Virginia.  Owls, domestic cats, bats, and other birds are also common.

BUT, There are two very specific animals that might make a person cringe or wonder at night though.  These animals are foxes and coyotes.  We have both here in Northern Va, and they are all over the place.  I highly doubt there is a single town or city in Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William, or Arlington where both of these animals do not exist.

They have come up on trail cameras, people have put videos of them on YouTube, 911 calls are made when some people see them, and early morning commuters sometimes catch a quick glimpse of both of these critters.

So at night, how do you tell the difference between a coyote noise and a fox noise?  

Well, it can be tricky, but for the most part a coyote will yip and howl with an extremely high pitched noise for a mammal.  They sound like they are singing to each other.  Coyotes will "let loose" a noise that is incredibly loud and may sound similar to domestic dogs howling with high notes.  They can also bark, howl, and whine. 

Foxes usually do a noise around here that I've heard described to me as an "Old lady getting murdered".  I agree, although I have never heard an old lady getting murdered.  While foxes do bark, howl, and whine, the noise that I usually hear is a raspy whine that is close to a scream. 

Speaking of foxes, here's a recent one that came up on a trail camera that I set up in Leesburg, VA. 

 I wonder if this one whines like an old lady getting murdered.

1 comment:

  1. A neighbor sent me this video (not her video) of fisher cats (weasel family) she said she used to hear and see in Linden, Va. Sound is something else: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrvdzCGjbzw
    My mammals book doesn't show them so far east, but maybe their range is expanding...