Why Do Foxes Scream At Night: Ultimate Guide

If you have ever heard noises coming from a fox, then you know how shocking and terrifying it can be! A fox screaming is like something out of a horror movie, and can leave you sleeping with your bedroom lights on!

Foxes are known to screech, scream and make loud, shrieking, or howling noises at night that will wake up the whole neighborhood.

Whilst you lie in bed wide awake, you may be wondering why they make such a racket, and exactly why foxes scream at night.

This is where we come in handy, as this guide will tell you why foxes scream, what other noises they make, and whether they ever scream during the day! 

What noises do foxes make?

You may have heard high pitched screaming noises coming from the woods or in the nearby shrubbery and woodland next to your home. The extremely loud shrieking noise can sometimes even sound like a woman screaming, and can send shivers down the spine of the bravest of folk. 

But it may not be a cause for concern, as it is probably the sounds of some nearby foxes. The common fox, the Red Fox is known to screech and scream all year round, and both male and female foxes love the sounds of their own voices during the night. 

However, it is not just the screaming noises that foxes use to communicate. Foxes can create up to 12 different sounds in order to make themselves known or heard!

They may also howl, squeal, bark, and make a ‘wow-wow’ sound, which is commonly used as a call to other foxes, or to identify location and position. 

For the most part, when making noise, foxes may howl and bark, sounding much like dogs in the distance. If you were not paying attention, you may even think that it is a neighboring dog that you are hearing. That is until the screaming commences

If you are unsure what a fox scream sounds like, then think of what it would sound like if someone nearby was screeching whilst being attacked or murdered… and you should be spot on! 

Why do foxes scream at night? 

So why do foxes make those horrible, blood-curdling noises that make your toes curl?! Well, for the most part, foxes will scream and howl or shriek as means of determining and defending their territory.

Screaming in this sense is a way to ward off other foxes or predators, and keep rivals at bay. 

Screaming is also a way of communication for foxes. They may make these howling, screeching noises in order to call other foxes, or seek out a mate during the breeding season. 

Although the noise of a screeching fox may sound like it is in pain, peril or being attacked, it is usually nothing to worry about, and is probably just a fox trying to claim its territory, so other foxes will back off! 

One of the more common reasons that foxes may scream is when they are mating, or trying to mate. Whilst male foxes may scream in order to confirm their territory, female foxes, or vixens will also scream during mating, or during the mating season to attract and lure mates. 

However, during the process of mating, both male and female foxes are known to, well, scream. The mating process can even sometimes last longer than 20 minutes, in which time the foxes can become entwined together, and will scream repeatedly! 

Do foxes ever scream during the day?

For the most part, foxes are nocturnal, meaning that they hunt and are active during the night. This is why most screaming noises are heard at night, rather than during the day time, although it is not completely uncommon for foxes to be around during the day, or scream during this time. 


To summarize, most male foxes scream and wail at night mostly to claim their territory and ward off other foxes, whereas female foxes scream in order to attract males during the mating season. 

In addition to the screeching you may hear regularly at night, foxes will also make incredibly loud and horrifying screeching noises when they mate, that often sounds like a woman being attacked! 

Nonetheless, mating is not a painful process for foxes, and they mainly just scream to communicate or mark their territory so other foxes know to stay away from them.

Chad Fox

Chad Fox is an author and researcher dedicated to bringing reliable information about foxes to the public. He supports animal sanctuary awareness.

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