Nocturnal Animal Sounds of New York State
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What’s that sound? When daylight fades, many creatures come awake. Wild nighttime calls provoke excitement in some people and fright in others. The links below are the most common nocturnal animal sounds in New York State woodlands.

When to Listen

Winter is the easiest time to identify calls, because there are fewer options. Amphibians and insects are inactive, some mammals are hibernating, and many birds fly south. Winter’s also the best time to hear owls. They breed in late winter and very early spring, so expect their calls to peak at those times.

As spring approaches, head out during or after the first warm evening rains. You may hear emerging amphibians and the American woodcock.

In summer the woods are at their noisiest. You’ll hear the most animals, but you’ll need some extra patience to identify individual calls. If you find it difficult to wait, try setting a comfortable seat around a campfire with s'mores. Enjoy!


Great Horned Owl

Eastern Screech Owl

Barred Owl

Barn Owl

Short Eared Owl

Common Nighthawk




Red Fox


Eastern Cottontail


Spring Peeper


Gray Tree Frog

American Bullfrog

Green Frog

Wood Frog


House Cricket


Want to hear more wildlife sounds? All the recordings shared here came from Cornell University’s Macaulay Library. The library features a free, searchable database of more than two hundred thousand wildlife audio and video recordings from all over the world.

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