What Birds Are Screaming At Night? – Full List

Some birds are the most intelligent animals on the planet.  Crows, ravens, owls, magpies, and parrots, among others, are super intelligent. They can learn a vocabulary of 1000 words or more.

These birds have unique bird calls of their own, which they use to communicate. Some of them become active at night, screaming out their different intentions.

What Birds are Screaming at Night

If you aren’t familiar with them, you may even become disturbed or unsettled to hear their high-pitched screaming, squawks, and screeching,

You couldn’t be blamed for thinking it’s a scene out of Halloweentown or that someone has just been murdered.

Creatures Of The Night

Most birds sleep at night. They are diurnal – active during the day and asleep at night. However, many nocturnal birds use the night for their activities.

They have a mysterious aura about them. Many of them are predators, and with their excellent eyesight, they pounce on other birds, rabbits, rats, and frogs.

Many birds sing and chirp at night, but what about the screamers?  Owls are famous for their nighttime screams, but many other birds croon at night.

Some of these are the nightingale and the mockingbirds. But there are those birds that don’t have hauntingly beautiful voices. They’ve got shrill, horrific shrieks.

What are the birds that have blood-curdling screeches? What are they trying to communicate between the cacophony? All their sounds have different purposes.

  • Sometimes they’re attracting a mate.
  • They may be agitated and are preparing to defend their territory.
  • They sound an alarm call.

Owls Are Top Night Screamers

Bird lovers interested in identifying the shrieks of birds in the night can’t be blamed for misidentifying the birds. Between some of the owl species, the screaming at night is very similar.

The Great Horned Owl

The Great Horned Owl, native to the Americas, is one of the culprit bird species known for their night screaming. But even with this one bird, they have different calls.

The male and female of a breeding pair will perform alternating calls. You can hear a mix of screams, shrieks, hisses, whistles, and different wavering cries. They will also snap their bills when stressed or disturbed.

Screech Owls

There are other screamers among the owls; these nocturnal birds of prey make the most unusual noises at night. If you’ve experienced the screams of screech owls, there are no less than 25 species.

It is hard to imagine that such screams can come from a fairly small owl species. These Screech owls are nocturnal birds, and some are no larger than a robin.

They may well lead a solitary life and aren’t seen very often, but they are extremely vocal.

Some don’t screech that often, but they have distinctive calls, with some sounding like the whinny of a horse.

Screeching Morepork Owl

In New Zealand, they’ve got the Screeching Morepork Owl, the only surviving native owl. The bird is known for its plaintive call.

Even though it is a small owl with striking yellow-green eyes, its shrill calls are heard almost exclusively at night. Its screaming can be a repetitive squawk sound and a yelping-like call.

Barn Owls

Not many people will believe the range of noises you get from Barn owls. It’s why they are often referred to as screech owls. They are widespread predators coming from all corners of the globe.

These pale-colored owls don’t hoot as you’d expect, but they emit an eerie screech and will also hiss. This harsh scream of theirs lasts just 2 seconds.

It’s more often the male, and he will often do this scream from the air. The male is inviting the female to inspect a nest. When agitated, these owls will also snap their beak.

List Of Birds That are Screaming at Night

Barking Owl

The Barking Owl found throughout Australia is another of these screaming birds. They’re mostly found in woodlands.

The most commonly heard call of the owl is a woof-woof sound. This species also makes the most unusual sounds, described as someone screaming for help.

It is why this shrieking call from the Barking Owl is referred to as the screaming woman call.

The Bush Stone-Curlew

Take a look at the Bush stone-curlew. It is a big, long-legged bird endemic to Australia. You’ll find them stalking slowly at night, looking for insects. When it detects someone, it adopts a rigid posture.

It looks quite laid back as it quietly and slowly gets about its business at night, but it has a blood-curdling scream. It is why this bird has been nicknamed the ‘screaming woman bird.’

Its high-pitched shrieks carry on the night air. Small a wonder that some of the more primitive humans on the continent believe the bird is associated with death.

The bird becomes particularly territorial during the breeding season, and it uses those screams to ward off any competition.

The Common Loon

The Common Loon is a member of the Loon family of birds. During the breeding season, the birds live on waterways in Canada, the northern United States, and parts of Greenland, Iceland, and the Atlantic coast of Europe.

The bird has a variety of vocalizations, the most common being the yodel, tremolo, and wail.

It uses these sounds to communicate a distinct message, with the bird being most vocally active in May and June.

The wail and tremolo calls are heard more frequently at night. The tremolo call is known as the laughing call. It is used to signal alarm or distress.

The bird emits a tremulous series of up to 10 high notes. The yodel call is long and made only by the male. The Loon’s wail is a long call. People compare it to a wolf’s howl.

Great Potoos

Great Potoos are known for their piercing, distinctive black eyes. It seems natural that such a weird-looking bird would have a creepy call.

The bird is native to Mexico, Central- and South America, and Guatemala.

Fossils have been found in Germany and France. The most well-known characteristic of this unusual bird is its call. It is described as an unsettling moaning growl that it makes throughout the night.

Eastern Whip-Poor-Wills

Eastern Whip-Poor-Wills are birds described as easy to hear but hard to see. You will hear the  Whip-Poor-Will screams as it calls out its name. Their calls seem to go on endlessly.

There have been bird observers who have taken the trouble to count the relentless screams of the bird. They have reached 1,088 whip-poor-will calls.

They recall that the bird screamed out without a break. During the day, it is quiet and finds a spot on the forest floor to sleep.

Owls Are The Birds Screaming The Most At Night

They are the most identifiable nocturnal birds there are. There is a wonderful aura of mystery around owls. Their calls can be heard coming out of forests at night.

You can hear a riot of calls between the owls and other birds, from hoots to screams, screeches, and shrieks.

Birds are fascinating creatures. Anyone interested in the mysterious world of birds will be blown away by the many calls they have. Some of them are even able to imitate the calls of other birds, confusing many humans.