Thursday, December 26, 2019

Night Time Noises


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!


37 comments:

  1. THAT IS A BIG KITTY! AND THANK YOU FOR SHARING! DOUG IN WV.

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  2. Very cool! That's wonderful! You live in a special place! I love your posts! And Merry Christmas!

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  3. I am still waiting for a big foot photo on that game camera! But I think even Big Foot would steer clear of that guy.

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    1. If he shows up on the camera, I'll share the photo for sure. :)

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  4. I cannot follow the link for the sound video.

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  5. Wow Ariel! Me being closer to a „chicken-shit“ I‘d be a little worried about that pussy cat not getting enough to eat. Have there been any attacks against people or dogs in the past? Okay, I grew up on the beach in Florida - so there I only know about shark attacks. I do love all wild animals, especially the majestic beauty of wild cats! I‘d expect though that they stear clear of people and barking dogs. How exciting that he was so close to your Nest, this means you really are one with nature and the animals accept you in their territory. I do hope no harm comes to you, Burley or the wild cats!

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    1. Well yes, mountain lions have killed almost everything at some point or another. 27 reported human fatalities in North America in the past 100 years. Knowing we live among many creatures that could kill us, we are always careful. But in general, they, like most wild things do much prefer to steer clear if possible.

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  6. Was wondering how you know it's a adult male? Wouldn't it more likely be a she? On the video the lady said the females call when it's time to breed because they're only in heat for a few days. I know when our cat was in heat when I was a kid she was the one yowling not the neighborhood male cats who came around wishing they could get in the house--LOL! What a sound in the dead of night. So cool that you have night cameras to catch these pictures of your wildlife. :)

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    1. I don't know for sure. Just a guess because few females get this large. It's entirely possible the cat on the camera is a male and the one I heard two nights later was a female.

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  7. That's nice that you have a game camera. I thought it would be nice to have one but don't think that would work very well on my place as there is too much open space. I get owls and ravens landing on my metal roof making a lot of noise.

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    1. In any location, you'll probably get a lot of shots of nothing, but yeah if there's a game trail or area that's clearly frequented, that helps. Mine isn't really in such a spot, but just more there to see what might come by the house while we're away or sleeping.

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  8. Hello beautiful and Burley too guess who, first time I heard a fox around the house it sounded like a woman screaming but it was right under my bedroom window. Luckily we don't have cougars around here, there are some in the mountains around here. We have plenty of the 2 legged varieties that are relentless. But we have a growing coyote population around here, night before last heard them across the road in a neighbor's pasture field and could hear more up the road. They were just calling back and forth with each other. My 4 month old Pitt bull was trying to answer them. He 4 months old but he is as big as a 1 year old dog, he's going to be huge by the time he's 3.

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    1. Foxes do have a pretty crazy scream! Lots of coyotes here as well, though they are certainly not the top of the food chain. But if they can lure a dog aways from it's home, they will certainly kill them.

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  9. Whoa....... that's a big cat. I am petrified of them.. haha..
    I won't go for nature walks unless I go with my son who carry's a rifle, and takes his big shepard/husky dog along. We had one walk through our mobile park last year, and the scary thing is.. being in a retired complex, a lot of us have little doggies that we walk at all hours of the day and night. Thankfully we all have our dogs on a harness and leash, and not let them just wander. However, several years ago, one of the older gentleman who had a lab, and letting it outside before bed, a coyote jumped out of the bushes, and ended up killing the lab in front of the old man. We have also had the occasional bear and deer in here. Sadly, as the human population takes over and builds into the forested areas, these poor animals are being pushed out of their habitat.
    oooops, I got sidetracked. haha.. I was going to say, there is no way ever, I would put on some snowshoes and go looking for tracks. I'm just one big 65 yr old scaredy cat of the big animals. I am truly impressed with you being a single woman, the way you live, and your love for the great outdoors. Your parents must be proud of your accomplishments. Love your video's.. and hoping that 2020 beings us many more. God Bless, and hugs to Burley. 💟❄💟

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    1. Yeah there are a lot of wild things that will eat a dog if they have a chance. Stay safe!

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  10. He probably got wind there's a good cook nearby and thought there may be some left over table scraps around?!

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    1. Possibly, but I've always been very careful to not have anything smelly or edible outside.

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  11. I am always amazed to see wildlife predators that large! Our largest here are only the size of rather small dogs, Again thanks for sharing so much details.

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  12. Thank you so very much for taking time to share your life!!

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  13. Wow that is one big cougar! They are very dangerous,many people in British Columbia have been attacked by them..

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    1. Indeed. 27 reported human fatalities in North America in the past 100 years. Knowing we live among many creatures that could kill us, we are always careful.

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  14. Dear Ariel and Burley, I know there's nothing I could say to dissuade you from continuing to live that close to such predators. The evidence suggests that if you are careful you'll be fine. Mountain lions do not actively seek out humans and usually only attack if they feel threatened or provoked. So if you don't provoke them, you'll be fine. With all that said PLEASE LEAVE THERE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE CUZ WE DON'T WANT YOU TO DIE AND STUFF. Well. I tried. Just know people all over the world care about your well being and don't want you trying to get a cool picture of a cougar or whatever that is just cuz it'd look good on a T-shirt or mug.. which actually it would look really cool BUT DON'T DO THAT! and. y'know. RUN! GET OUT OF THERE!

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    1. Thanks for your concern for us. Though you are right, you probably won't convince me that mountain lions who have killed 27 people in the past 100 years are more dangerous to live around than more other humans who murder 400,000+ people per year (as of 2017) not even counting wars, terrorism, police, abortions, etc which would take that number well into the millions. I'll take my chances with big wildlife personally. :)

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  15. Found you! I will keep in touch! Love the nature, love Burley, we just adore you, dear! My hubby & I enjoyed your videos, but TOTALLY understand! What's best for you! Dawn @ Rich & Dawn in MN :)

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  16. wow this very cool but also frightening. How are you careful Ariel? I'm intrigued. You could be outside and one could just appear no? Doesn't Burley bark and attract interest? I'd be scared to let him out for a pee at night before bed time.

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    1. One could appear suddenly, but given the option will generally try to avoid both humans and dogs. Burley doesn't go outside alone in the dark and neither do I without checking the whole clearing for any animals that might be around. See this video for more discussion of all that - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6ODwyDYM9o

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  17. have you stopped your you tube videos< i know there was some problems with authorities as to what you could broadcast, havent seen any new ones in ages, miss seeing you go about your life in your beautiful tiny house and surroundings

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    1. For now. I've not seen any update or clarification from the FTC on their very vague rule interpretation that tries to make everyone a criminal.

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