When it comes to the nature of a night hike, so many things are completely different. Especially the wildlife, campers know this. The nocturnal creatures you might run across will generally be very scarce during the day.
These nocturnal animals can also be very vocal so don’t be surprised if you hear some strange noises. Others you hear may be ones that you hear in your backyard at night. In this article I’ve listed some nocturnal wildlife in the U.S. that are most likely awake at night and you could hear or even see while going hiking at night.
Nocturnal Wildlife you might see when camping
This obviously all varies by your location, but here are some examples of common nighttime animals that are present at campsites.
I think almost everyone thinks of owls when they think of nocturnal animals, I know I do. Owls are very active at night generally because they feed and hunt at night. You just might hear or see one.
Bears are known to forage for food at night. If you live in a region where bears live then be wary. Bears generally do not bother humans but they are powerful animals that should never be approached.
Even though cougars, or mountain lions, are rare in many areas, they are worth mentioning because of how dangerous they are. They are real, they hunt at night, and they have been known to attack people on rare occasions.
Another very common nocturnal animal. Their howl is very familiar and travels a great distance, and if you hear one you’ll know it.
Foxes are also active at night and you may even hear their strange little barking noises that they make.
Ah.. the notorious trash panda. They are oh so active at night looking for food. Completely harmless but very mischievous.
Known for living in caves and other dark places in the day, bats are very active at night looking for food such as moths and other bugs.
Just like raccoons they are always digging through trash cans at night and just about anywhere they can find food.
Especially little tree frogs, they can be so noisy at night but I love the sound of frogs in the trees at night. Something about it just reminds me of a warm summer night.
Also very noisy at night, and a noise you don’t normally hear during the day. Stop, close your eyes for a moment, and listen for crickets and tree frogs when hiking at night.
11. Various other birds
Not all songbirds retire for the night. A few species such as whippoorwills and mockingbirds can be heard even in the middle of the night.
Deer are very timid and shy and will do anything they can to avoid humans, and rightfully so. They too can often be found foraging for food at night time when they think they are safe.
Primarily nocturnal, hedgehogs are very active at night and sleep for up to 18 hours a day.. sounds like my cat!