Wild Things Outside!

For the past two mornings I’ve heard wild things screaming in my backyard at 5am.  It’s two hours before sunrise. What are those weird sounds?

Raccoons!  And they’re fighting!

I didn’t go outdoors to record them but I found two videos that include the sounds — above in Toronto, below on someone’s roof.


Why are raccoons fighting in my backyard?  I believe it’s the watering hole effect.  It’s been very dry in Pittsburgh so my birdbath is one of the few sources of water.  All the animals come for a drink before their bedtime and BAM!

A word to the wise: Don’t go outdoors to visit the raccoons.  They may have rabies.


(videos from YouTube; click on the YouTube logo on each one to see its original)

6 thoughts on “Wild Things Outside!

  1. Deal with raccoons almost nightly. Have had to start bringing in my feeders, especially the suet feeders. Not only do they steal the suet, but they take the feeder also. Can be nasty little buggers out there. Their “screams” when there are fighting can be frightening.

  2. About 6 weeks ago at about 11 pm I went outside my house after a long rain. It was extremely dark for Squirrel Hill. I heard what at first I thought was a screech owl in the big maple in my upper yard above my patio. Then I heard very low, very sweet sounding trilling different from a Screech owl and interspersed with single whistles. The sound was moving around in the tree. Finally I could just barely make out one large lump on a big branch. Opossum. No wrong sounds. Then I saw a 2nd lump and it crawled on top of the 1st. Raccoon love! Never dreamed they could make sweet, gentle noises too.

  3. We usually only feed the birds during the winter. In the spring, if we don’t start taking our feeders in at night after the raccoons are active again, we always end up with one or two raccoon fights on our porch. The noises are terrible. We used to have a cat who was raised inside of our house from the age of about 3 weeks old who would scream at the raccoons when they came on the porch in the middle of the night. All of our current cats are outdoor rescues, and they wisely don’t want to have anything to do with the raccoons on the porch.

  4. Don’t think I’ve ever heard a raccoon fight, but I still remember once when I was 5 or 6 being awoken n in the middle of the night by the sound of what my mom told me was cats fighting in our driveway as my dad had gone out to chase them away.

  5. Timely post Kate as I had a couple of raccoons on my roof last night trying to determine if they could jump on the fence below. They wisely moved away from that spot to another that was less risky. They make an interesting “trilling” kind of sound that I had never heard before.

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