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Geography

Western Rockies, 6000 feet elevation.

Time of day

This thing only shows up at nightfall. It is gone by early morning even when it is still pitch black outside.

Sound

It sounds like an adult male human saying "Hrmmmmm" as if it were displeased with my presence.

Am I hearing things

A family member heard this as well. I wasn't actually going to tell them because it would have spooked them. They told me after I had already heard it twice. We hear it every night at nightfall. I am going to try to record the audio.

Position

It is always behind me at my level. I turn around, wearing a powerful headlamp and can not see it. I also have a 100k lumen LED flashlight. I can not find it. The sound does not move position and I can not hear wings.

What might it eat?

There are moths, lots of them. I have been getting rid of the moths to test that theory. There are also field mice, grasshoppers, crickets, grass snakes and marmots. Most of the marmots have been in their holes and they stay very clear of humans.

Hypothesis

None. I have been in the wilderness all throughout the U.S. I have never heard an animal capable of making this sound. I have heard MockingJays and Starlings mimic other creatures, but they can't make the bass/baritone sounds like a human. There are horses near by, but they can't make this sound, certainly not in between the house and my vehicle. The mountain lions, bears and elk don't go anywhere near my home.

Any ideas?


I should add that it also knows which way I am facing. It will only make that sound behind me, never beside or in front of me. It also knows if my headlamp is on. I have to turn off my headlamp to hear the sound.

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  • You say there are horses nearby, and horses make non-vocalized snorting sounds with their nostrils. Sep 6 at 19:34
  • This is a very vocalized and distinct "Hrmmm" identical to a human doing it. I am going to sit out tonight and see if I can capture it on camera or with the limited audio equipment I have. More of my equipment will show up in a couple weeks.
    – Aaron
    Sep 6 at 20:29
  • 1
    Any chance its a moth against a window or bush, being amplified? Mountain goats?
    – bob1
    Sep 7 at 0:37
  • any chances with owls? youtube.com/watch?v=Jzbmj6vuMw8 Sep 7 at 17:43
  • "I am going to try to record the audio." That sounds if not extremely helpful at least intriguing!
    – Vorac
    Sep 10 at 18:17
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I know that Roe Deer sound like dogs barking or babies screaming at night to mark their territory.

A "Hrmmm"! Might be a goat considering you are in the Mountains. But most likely it's a bird.

Crows are pretty vocal and in my area they sound like Radio signals. Very alien like cloaking sound. Almost like clicking but deeper and it ecoes very far. But that's during the day.

Which birds are nocturnal in your area? Owl maybe?

Does it remind of this weird Raven noise? https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NVeUtSSrkG0

Edit: It's plausible to be a Raven as they can mimic many sounds, including humans: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AfsnHVaScjg&noapp=1

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0

I think you're describing the call of the Great Grey Owl, whose range includes the western Rockies. Here is what it sounds like.

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