For the second year in a row, I have heard loud animal noises on several sequential nights in the late spring/early summer. Please help me identify the critters involved.
Vocalizations occur at night. First, there’s squealing that sounds like an animal in pain. This is loud enough to be heard a few houses away. Then there’s hoarse, heavy breathing. There’s slight rustling in the trees or underbrush. This may be repeated a couple of times in the night.
These noises take place in a hilly area in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. It’s a mix of houses on partially-wooded lots, cleared lots, and woods.
I have investigated several times, because I first thought that I was hearing a dog evicerate a little creature, like an opossum. However, I’ve never found any evidence of this in the morning, and the fact that it recurs suggest that it might be mating, territorial dispute, or predator-prey relations. Due to the pine needles, I can’t see tracks, and have never found scat.
In this area, I’ve seen various birds, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and deer. There are also some free-ranging dogs ad numerous cats (but I would recognize the sounds if a cat were involved). Other mammals are reported to live in the region, including various weasels, river otters, cougars, and the like.