The most frequent night time visitor we see here is a fox. Probably more than one as there are quite a few in the area, though I don't usually see more than one at a time in our yard. I love having them come through as they are great at putting a dent in the population of small rodents. Last night Burley and I were awakened in the middle of the night by a very different sound though.
I had heard the same calling about a year ago, but didn't know what the sound was as it's not one easy to place with any of the wild things I'm familiar with. Kind of a high pitched squeaking raspy call. It sounds like something small. Possibly even a bird. If you want to hear what I was hearing last night, listen to this as I was too sleepy and lazy to get up and record it. For the first 30 seconds or so, you can hear what I was hearing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BACrPD-_fOo) The video title will give it away though. That's mountain lion calling, and it was quite close to the house as Burley and I could both hear him clearly with the windows closed. It's a pretty cool and wild sound!
I'm fairly sure it's the same large adult male I and a few neighbors have seen off and on for a few years and Burley and I have found quite a few of it's kills in the past year. The most recent one being an elk not too far from our house. We went for a snowshoe this afternoon looking for it's tracks to see just how close it was, but didn't pick them up. But in the mean time, I checked the game camera (which I don't do every day) and apparently, this is how close he was two nights before. Sorry for the bad photo quality, it's an old game camera that's very low resolution, but that's right in front of the house in case you can't tell.
Since this time of year is their breeding season, he was most likely trying to talk to or attract a mate. Which could mean some baby cougars in the area in the future.
The second photo is from almost a minute later as he's exiting to the left. Based on his size in these photos compared to Burley, I would guess he's close to 200 pounds. He's regularly eating full grown healthy adult elk based on the kills we've come across. So this fellow is pretty close to the top of the food chain in the area. Again presuming it's the same cat I've seen before (always in the dark, and for only a moment, so no photos), if I had a head on photo he would look very broad. It was pretty amazing to be able to listen to him in the dark, and made me thankful for our snug little home as well!