What Kind of Animal Is Making These Weird Screams in the Wisconsin Woods?
Have you ever been walking through the woods or sitting in your backyard and heard a weird scream that left you wondering what kind of creature it could be coming from? Well, the answer might shock you.
'Screaming' Animals in Wisconsin
My family may live in Illinois, but we spend a lot of our free time at our cabin in Wisconsin, and a lot of wildlife things happen up there that don't happen at home.
For instance, the Illinois neighborhood we live in is new-ish and doesn't have a ton of trees...our cabin in Wisconsin is surrounded by trees. We don't see deer standing in our yard in Illinois but are often greeted by deer in Wisconsin. We hear a lot of weird animal calls in Wisconsin, but birds chirping is about as wild as it gets at home.
Due to all the time my family spends in Wisconsin, I follow a lot of Wisconsin-focused social media pages, and this morning I came across an odd question from a newcomer on the Strange Wisconsin Facebook group...
Screaming squirrels? I thoughts squirrels just hoard nuts and fight with other squirrels who get too close to their nuts. Is this person mistaken, or are they hearing something I have never heard before?!?
Turns out, squirrels really do scream, and after watching this video I realized I hear this sound often both in Illinois AND Wisconsin but I always assumed it was birds...
Why Do Squirrels Scream?
The short answer is; squirrels scream when they are distressed, but that is not all they do. According to an article from Trutech Wildlife Service;
They have a wide range of vocal sound features, including squeaks, barks, and grunts. When distressed, squirrel kits make high-pitched, chirping noises similar to birds.
According to mammologist Bryan Harding, squirrels use sound to protect themselves and their territories. Their alarm calls are made up of screeches, rattles, barks, and snorts. The kuk, muk-muk, and quaa sounds are used to convey an interest in mating.
Here's an interesting video that demonstrates some of these squirrel screeches, rattles, barks, etc...
Honestly, my mind is pretty blown right now. I know I have heard all those sounds before, but I never in a million years would have thought they all came from a squirrel!
Here are more interesting animal facts that you might now know...