Strange Sound in the Night

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Date Photo Taken: 09/13/2013
Location: Woodstock GA
Posted By: Walter Reeves

Notes:

For the past few months, my neighborhood has been under the spell of an honest-to-God, No One-Knows-What-It-Is mystery. Here are the salient details, and I’ve included a sound file of the noise for the record.

Almost every night, there’s a sound that comes out of the darkness. The people I’ve talked to don’t know what it is, though we’re all fairly certain it’s a bird of some kind. Some of them have listened to recordings of nocturnal birds, but none of them have sounded anything like our mystery beastie.

It’s only at night, and it only lasts about a second or so when it sounds. “Eeeee,” is what I write it as, though you can hear it on the sound file I guess. There’s 15 to thirty seconds of silence, and then it goes again. On the sound file, I edited out the long pauses so you get the noise pretty close together.

CLICK “PLAY” BELOW TO LISTEN

COMMENTS

  1. Joe Walsh Unregistered says:

    Sounds like a Peacock (hen)

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:15 pm
  2. Margaret Youngblood Unregistered says:

    Could it possibly be a baby deer. They make a lot of different sounds. Here’s a youtube of one example of there calls.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vsWBWx0C8k

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:16 pm
  3. Ngfulford Unregistered says:

    A cat?… As in kitty.

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:17 pm
  4. M Anderson Unregistered says:

    My guess is a waterfowl of some sort that’s calling for its lost flock. Perhaps a lone, injured goose left behind by its flock, or perhaps a lone egret. I know, I know, not likely. But my coworker has had what she claims is an egret hanging out in her Coweta Co. neighborhood for two or three months now, despite the wintry weather.

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:24 pm
  5. Russ Desmelik Unregistered says:

    Sounds an awful lot like a stray cat to me.

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:30 pm
  6. Pat Patterson Unregistered says:

    Sounds like a juvenile owl, maybe a bard, but I have heard similar in the spring and it was a bard.

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:31 pm
  7. Sue Unregistered says:

    Sounds like geese.

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:48 pm
  8. Francis Allegret Unregistered says:

    It would behelpful if we knew at what time of night it typically occurs, but my guess is a young Screech Owl.
    It could be a squirrel if early in the evening. No time was given.

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:52 pm
  9. David Unregistered says:

    Walter that’s just an Alabama fan crying over the results of the Iron Bowl. You’ll hear that noise a lot more frequently the closer you are to Tuscaloosa.

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:53 pm
  10. ELLEN Unregistered says:

    sounds to me like a mammal – maybe a possum or coyote pup or a bear cub?

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:54 pm
  11. Ansley Unregistered says:

    perhaps a screech owl call (not song)? check out the last call here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/eastern_screech-owl/sounds

    similar, no?

    December 5th, 2013 at 2:57 pm
  12. Jim Nystrom Unregistered says:

    I think I may know what this is. And it may not be a bird. We have had a VERY similar sound from time to time. At first I thought it was a strange bird. But one nite I started tracking it and ended up walking to a house down the street where a teen-aged boy was on his back deck making the sound with some sort of device.

    December 5th, 2013 at 3:09 pm
  13. Walter Reeves The Georgia Gardener says:

    I love David’s diagnosis of “Alabama fan”!

    December 5th, 2013 at 3:31 pm
  14. LEE B. BURDETT,SR Unregistered says:

    THE SOUND YOU ARE HEARING SOUNDS EXCATLY LIKE THAT OF A PEAHEN – FEMALE PEACOCK. HAD ONE BEHIND OUR HOUSE FOR OVER A YEAR – FED HER DOG FOOD – SHE SOUNDED JUST LIKE THAT -REAL LOUD. SOME ONE COMPLAINED OF THE NOISE – ANIMAL CONTROL TRIED TO CATCH HER AND COULD NOT – STAYED ABOUT A YEAR AND THEN LEFT – SAW HERE OFTEN – WAS NOT BANDED AND HAVE NO IDEA WHERE SHE CAME FROM OR WHERE SHE WENT. WOULD ROOST IN TREES. I COULD BE WRONG BUT THE SOUND IS 100% IDENTICAL. MY DOGGS WOULD BARK AT HERE BUT SHE DID NOT APPEAR TO BE AFRAID. HOPE THIS HELPS. . . .

    December 5th, 2013 at 3:33 pm
  15. GardenFan Unregistered says:

    Several years ago, I heard a similar cry in my back yard on summer nights. Walter correctly guested it was flying squirrels. Several nights later, I heard two owls calling back and forth on a hunt and I haven’t heard the flying squirrels since.

    December 5th, 2013 at 4:46 pm
  16. granny bowen Unregistered says:

    I don’t know what it is, but my cat sure perked up when she heard it.

    December 5th, 2013 at 6:16 pm
  17. Gail Unregistered says:

    Sounds like a wood duck.

    December 5th, 2013 at 8:43 pm
  18. fer Unregistered says:

    How about a fox? They make an assortment of strange sounds. Google “fox sounds” and check them out.

    December 6th, 2013 at 9:17 am
  19. mark ray Unregistered says:

    Not quite like a juvenile barred owl which are very common in the area, but they are normally heard more in Feb. The tone almost sounds like a deer fawn, but they should be a little older and on their feet well by now. What’s really a mystery is that it has been going on for several months.

    December 7th, 2013 at 9:15 am
  20. mark ray Unregistered says:

    I work near a place that raises pheasants and pesafowl. On second thought, that could explain the persistent presence of the sound too and it matches pretty well.

    December 7th, 2013 at 9:18 am
  21. RW Bathurst Unregistered says:

    As Woodstock, GA is near Lake ALatoona, and this sounds like a water-bird, the first thing that comes to mind is Green Heron, which is what I believe this is. Check it out on xenocanto.org, Specifically, recordings # XC35849 and XC144306. The bird makes a variety of squawky calls,

    December 8th, 2013 at 3:38 pm
  22. Eva Wills Unregistered says:

    This is definitely a peacock.

    December 9th, 2013 at 10:21 am
  23. Walter Reeves The Georgia Gardener says:

    A couple of folks got it right: barred owl, probably a juvenile begging for food! Monteen McCord, the raptor expert at http://www.hawktalk.org, sent me a video link that contains the owl sound at 0:50:
    http://youtu.be/7N-7ZokarkQ

    Also see this video of the cutest owls ever!
    http://youtu.be/e8L6kvt9Qjs

    December 9th, 2013 at 11:04 am
  24. Tom Unregistered says:

    We have a barred owl in the neighborhood, and the first time I heard it, it scared the living daylights out of me. I was out back grilling after dark. The sound starts off sounding like a coyote howling, then changes to sound almost like a monkey. The “tone” of this reminds me of our barred owl, just not the length of his screeches. It may be a juvenile.

    December 9th, 2013 at 12:51 pm
  25. David Unregistered says:

    Red Tailed Hawk. Have on of my very own for over a year. Finally saw him twice in one day. About drove me crazy trying to figure out what it was.

    December 9th, 2013 at 5:18 pm
  26. David Unregistered says:

    Here is your proof. Play the sounds shown.
    http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-tailed_Hawk/sounds

    December 9th, 2013 at 5:22 pm
  27. LSWhite Unregistered says:

    Well, I am glad to know I am not crazy. I heard this exact sound for about 4 nights in a row back in November. It was between 7 and 8 PM. It was from a small vacant lot we own beside the house and there is a big, deep ditch with a natural spring in it. It was a bit scary so I was not about to go exploring in the darkness through all the vines and leaves and such. But this sound was definitely it. It does sound a lot like the baby fawn and we do have a lot of deer here. After reading this I may have to call a neighbor or two, get the flood lights and go trekking if I hear it again…

    December 9th, 2013 at 6:31 pm
  28. rbjonesy Leaf Lover says:

    We have a Barred Owl as well. Haven’t heard them as much lately though. It woke me up one night with the sounds heard at the end of this sound file:

    http://www.owlpages.com/sounds/Strix-varia-10.mp3

    Talk about spooky. I had no idea what it was, but once I found out, all manner of unidentified sounds since then have been explained! Another evening came home and heard this:

    http://www.owlpages.com/sounds/Strix-varia-1c.mp3

    No wonder Owls are a symbol of Halloween! Love it.

    December 9th, 2013 at 9:33 pm
  29. LSWhite Unregistered says:

    Heard it again last night. Did just as I said and we got the flood lights and took off to the vacant lot. It was good that someone else heard it. My neighbor was a bit nervous until we found an owl sitting high in a huge oak. Couldn’t get any pics because it was dark but we did see him or her make this sound. It is identical to the sound posted at the top of this forum. We have decided that if we hear it again we are going to try and record it but it was definitely an owl.

    December 11th, 2013 at 5:14 pm
  30. Janelle Hilley Unregistered says:

    Sounds like a baby armadillo.

    December 16th, 2013 at 7:20 am
  31. David Unregistered says:

    I have to confess all those sounds were me. I am an alien who is terribly bored down here amongst you scardy-cat humanoids so I sneak into your backyards and do animal imitations when I know you are inside shaking.

    You will get the strange lights and ground shaking next so brace up for that. In the meantime keep feeding those beautiful plants that nutritious plant food for it is this that keeps me hanging around for beautiful landscaping is my one weakness as an alien visitor.

    I am totally harmless but curious that you humanoids know so little about your own environment. If I had the physical characteristics to actually laugh I would.

    Keep that curiosity up for it is this that makes your world turn and the rich life you most often ignore is out there just waiting to be discovered.

    You secret friend and admirer,
    David – the visitor from afar

    December 16th, 2013 at 10:16 pm
  32. Amanda Unregistered says:

    Sounds like a peacock hen.

    December 28th, 2013 at 6:27 pm

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