I have a question about something that happened on the conservation land just behind my house 3 or 4 years back, not far north of Boston. For a couple of weeks, I occasionally heard some creature in the woods at night that had a call that sounded just like wind chimes. Then one night a pack of them assembled, chiming back and forth at each other in a manner consistent with baying, and brought down a screaming animal not far behind my neighbor's house, that stopped screaming quite abruptly. The prey sounded about the size of a cat or a raccoon. The wind chime hooters, I think were likely also a smallish animal. They seem to have moved on within a month or so. Does anyone know what these are? I've never been able to find any references for them. Thank you!

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    Did it sound anything like this?
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Sep 20, 2015 at 2:42
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    My cat got very upset when I played this.
    – ab2
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 20:37
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    For the past three days I have heard the sound you mean. Kinda. Like bamboo windchimes sound..right? I am concerned. Two days ago the sound was on three sides of me. I have never heard this sound...we got chickens 3 months ago..keeping my eye out for sure
    – user11302
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


I have no idea what "sounded like wind chimes" is supposed to mean. No animal that I know of makes a metallic clinking sound. The closest would be several frogs, but that doesn't fit at all with everything else you said.

Ignoring the useless description of the sound, everything else points to coyotes. It would be helpful to be more specific than "not far north of Boston" so we can at least know the nature of the general surroundings (houses and pavement, open field, a large wooded area, etc), but coyotes are now all over New England, even in some urban areas.

Coyotes don't exactly congregate in "packs" like wolves do, more like family groups. Several of them together is not unusual at all. The screaming animal you mention was probably a neighborhood cat. Cats usually scream loudly as a last resort, and coyotes are known to prey on house cats sometimes.

It is also consistant with coyotes that they stayed around for a month or so, then moved on, particularly if this was not late winter when they have pups in a den.

I live in Groton MA with woods all around the house. We have a group of coyotes in the general area, and twice now their den has been on our property. Mostly we hear them, especially when they howl back at trains honking at a nearby crossing. I only see a coyote on our property maybe 2-4 times a year, but pick them up routinely on a trail camera in the woods.

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    Click on the word "This" in ShemSeger's comment, above. They really do sound a bit like wind chimes.
    – ab2
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 19:58
  • Not sure what wind chimes you guys have hanging around your house - glad you aren't my neighbor. I agree with the coyote assessment however - they make a variety of calls (I heard some weird stuff when one was separate from his pack and sat in my yard calling to the others all morning) plus they are the only animal I know of in the north east US that call to each other and would hunt in a group. The prey size sounds about right too.
    – plast1k
    Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 16:08
  • Rabbits also have a pretty blood-curdling scream, as I can attest to from years of coyotes coming down the arroyo by my house to eat the fat grass-fed rabbits in the neighborhood.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Jan 5, 2021 at 14:05

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