Screaming and shrieking foxes

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Photograph: 9 May 2018. Audio file recorded: 25 February 2019.

Fox, photographed on 9 May 2018.

Almost every night at this time of the year, I hear loud screams just outside my window. I hear not just screams, but also frightful shrieks and fitful barks. Is someone in distress? No, they are noises made by foxes, though some people may mistake them for human voices. I am not sure what these foxes are communicating. It may be over territory, or it may be the mating season, but whatever the reason, and even though I have become used to these sounds, the first screams and shrieks of the evening startle me nevertheless. They startle me but they also fascinate me, since it is quite marvellous that a relatively small animal can make such piercing noises. Anyway, the following audio file was recorded using my smartphone, as such it is not particularly good quality, but hopefully it manages to convey the kind of cacophony made by urban foxes.