Around 5am this morning something out side my house was screaming/ crying. Like a baby being tortured. Not at all a cat fight or a cat in heat...those sounds I am well versed in. Screaming lasted about 15 minutes
I live in NC and have plenty of fox, skunks, raccoons...do any of those animals make such a noise? I went out when day broke and don't see anything askew.
"Like a baby being ..." raccoons. Yep, I was upset the first time I heard that. Thankfully it was so prolonged and repeated it couldn't possibly be what I was imagining.
Ever seen a video of Tasmanian devils eating? LOL
Foxes can make some creepy sounds, as can rabbits being killed. Peacocks can send a chill up your spine- and if you live up north- there is the fisher cat... you can find lots of recordings on youtube of animals that have frightened people with their sounds- maybe you can find what you heard there.
Also- some owls- barred and screech have a fearsome call.
Fawns -- we professional crones call'em "baby deer" -- sound exactly like tortured babies when they're in distress. I found this out the hard way. I heard the noise all morning one day, couldn't figure out what it was, and then it stopped. Two days later my dogs discovered a dead fawn, no more than a day or two old. It had tried to go through the 4x4 wire mesh fence, but got caught at the hips. Effin' grisly.
Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life
Anyone locally with Guineas? They make a tormented sound for talking. They also can be wandering, not stay-home birds unless you trim the feathers. Some folks like them for watchdogs, they scream at EVERYTHING.
I heard a Guinea here recently, certainly not a common noise in the neighborhood. I figure one escaped their owner and is cruising the area. Probably won't last long between the wildlife and the big hawks we have keeping the bunnies from overpopulating the place.
I don't know anything about a fisher cat, but do know from experience that the sound you were talking about can be either a fox or a bobcat. You do have them there. I'd have to hear it to tell you which it was. We're about an hour and a half North of you on Lake Gaston, and I've lived in the woods all my life.
I was surprised to read that fisher cats existed here in N.C. I was pretty sure I had never had an encounter with one here........So I checked, and their range is a LONG ways away from here. I see that it says Formerly into Tennessee and North Carolina, but the mapped range is a long ways North. Maybe they've been seen in the far mountains of N.C., but I doubt around Chapel Hill.
FWIW, Fisher aren't uncommon in NC. Not seeing them doesn't equal not there. You have to look *up* to see them, they spend a buttload of time in trees. And they have a very wide range of vocalizations.
However many mustelids make similar noises. They're a fun bunch...noisy as hell and often sound like something dying or something came through an open Hell portal, stinky as sin, voracious hunters and eaters, smart as heck...and just plain hilarious to watch when they're not doing something horrifying, LOL!
Could have been a common weasel, mink, etc.
You could always just bang pans at them.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!