About midnight for the last several nights we’ve been hearing strange noises that are a cross between a woman screaming in pain and a warbling sort of call. What animal (we presume it’s an animal!) would be making a sound like that, and why? Actually, it sounds like more than one animal. Thanks.
(PS: Yes, we live right next to an open space area; Shell Ridge.)
G. W., Walnut Creek, Calif.
Those strange sounds you’re hearing are coyotes howling. I know of at least one coyote den on Shell Ridge in Walnut Creek.
We have a lot of coyotes running around the San Francisco Bay Area. Sometimes they howl when they’re feeling their oats, like when it’s a full moon. Sometimes it’s a territorial thing. And sometimes it’s mom and dad coyote teaching their teenage cubs how to howl. Whatever turns them on.
I sometimes get the urge to howl at a full moon, but I usually manage to restrain myself.