Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mysterious Knocking on Wood Sounds from the Deep Forest of the Great Smokey Mountains!



What's knocking on wood in the primordial high-elevation forest of the Great Smoky Mountains? It seems to reverberate from all directions and is hundreds of yards away - or is it! After four days of investigating these strange, incessant and mind-numbing wood-knocking noises deep in the forest I was not able to find and film the mysterious creature(s). Having spent parts of 7 summers here this is the first time I encountered this phenomena to such a degree that it caught my attention. It was early October 2013 near 4000 feet elevation. An exhaustive Google search seemed to solve the mystery to my satisfaction. You probably have heard a Chipmunk "Chip", but have you ever heard the elusive "CluckMunk" Cluck? This bizarre knocking on wood phenomena has actually been researched, but is not well-documented. I managed to find the expert on the subject at: http://miracleofnature.org/blog/chipmunk-clucks-revisited  
This fellow wrote a thesis on this "clucking"!
However, contrary to his theory of the Chipmunks making these "clucks" as warning calls for raptors in the trees, these bizarre "Cluckmunks" just seemed to enjoy making this sound for hours on end - and when two or three get going at once echoing through the canopy it is as strange a sound as you ever want to hear in the deep dark forest. What was odd was that they didn't stop making the noise when I was making noise walking through the woods. There seemed to be a difference between the many Chipmunks hanging around the cabin and the deep forest creatures. Is the mystery solved - or does the high forest hold more secrets?

Note that toward the end of the video there are two red squirrels - they are not making the noises - the knocking noise is from off-camera. I fortunately recorded both Chipmunk calls going on at the same time while filming the red squirrels.

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Mysterious Knocking on Wood Sounds from the Deep Forest of the Great Smokey Mountains!

Video: Mysterious Knocking on Wood Sounds from the Deep Forest of the Great Smokey Mountains!

Eastern Chipmunk Great Smokey Mountains
 Who - Me?