Raccoon Fight. 1:45am, 15 September 1990, near Danby, New York © Lang Elliott.
Just having published a blog post featuring a groundhog fight, I’ve decided to post a raccoon fight for comparison. This is an old recording, from September of 1990, yet it is still my best example of scuffling within a family group. Notice the whining that precedes three outbursts of loud and raucous calls. This is typical of what the mostly nocturnal raccoons do, and is usually heard in the dead of the night. In comparison, groundhogs are day-active (diurnal) and are unlikely to be heard at night.
So … if you hear a raucous outburst at night, it is most likely a raccoon fight (or else a cat fight, if there are numerous house-cats in your neighborhood).
NOTE: If you listen closely at the beginning, you may hear a screech-owl in the background, giving two melodic whinny calls. They’re faint, so listen very carefully. I was actually at this location to record the screech-owl; the raccoon scuffle happened unexpectedly, right of the blue (or rather, right out of the black), truly an amazing gift in the wee hours of the morning.