Sun 5 Apr 2009
Yep, I’m not making it up. And really, it makes sense since we’re right in the thick of amphibian breeding season. Wood frogs that came out of the forests in late February and early March laid their eggs and tadpoles are now being seen.
Spring peepers are heard throughout our area and are starting to lay their eggs in both temporary and permanent wetlands. Pictured here is one of our Spring Peepers peeping. Keep in mind, these little guys are small – one could sit on a quarter or silver dollar pretty comfortably, but wow what a sound they can put out, especially when a bunch of them get together!
As all this is going on, Pickerel frogs (with their funny snoring call) are jumping into the mix as are our American Toads, which we’re just starting to hear trill; and Cricket Frogs, which make a call that sounds like two stones being tapped together.
It’s a really neat time to not only watch amphibians but also gain a first hand look at their life cycles from egg to tadpole to adult and to learn about their habitat needs for both the breeding season (vernal pools, ponds, swamps) and the non-breeding season (forests, marshes).
Here’s a site that has some ideas on How to Celebrate National Frog Month. If you’re up for a little challenge, we have a crossword puzzle on Frogs and Toads that you can try out too. For the artistic ones, our coloring book has a couple of frog pages in it along with some fun facts about the animals. Every month is great for learning about Loudoun’s nature and our environment and this month is a wonderful time to focus in on amphibians!
The Virginia Herpetological Society has an excellent online resource for calls of frogs and toads that we have in Virginia. So, if you’re out and about, taking a nature walk or running errands and hear frogs and toads calling give a go at identifying the species you hear and then, let me know and I’ll add the information to our Amphibian Monitoring Program database. I’m also working on gathering and making frog and toads call recordings from here in Loudoun so any locations you identify could really help with that.