Signs of Spring EverywhereSigns of Spring Everywhere
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Frogs: Singin' in the Rain!

After spending the winter buried under mud at the botom of a lake or surrounded by molding leaf litter, it's no wonder frogs are ready to sing in the spring! One of the surest signs of spring is frogs singing. Cold-blooded amphibians can't risk coming out too early in spring. They emerge when rain and melting snow make puddles that will keep their body temperatures above freezing. Males of many species of frogs start singing as soon as they emerge, when those same rains and melting snow ensure that their eggs and tadpoles have enough water to survive until they develop into frogs. Females are drawn to those "romantic" sounds the males make, and suddenly we have a new supply of baby frogs and toads!

On evenings when the temperature is above freezing, it's easy to tell if frogs have emerged by hearing their calls. Do frogs call near where you live? If they do, listen to their calls and see if you can recognize any. Journey North tracks four species of frogs and also the American Toad. Which of those frogs and toads are in your area? Learn to recognize them by sound:

What's all the singing about? Who's singing? Who's listening? What do the songs mean? Find out here:

It's tricky to get good looks at calling frogs. It takes a lot of patience—as well as waterproof boots and a good flashlight. If you go outside on a rainy night, you might see them on the move. So, put on your rain slicker and galoshes and grab your flashlight. You may see frogs traveling from their wintering area to a breeding pond. But, quiet on the set! Once you're near the pond, be sure to tread lightly; any disturbance and the grogs will stop their tune. Styquiet and they'll likely start up the chorus again.

Try This! Journaling Questions and Frog Call Quiz

  • Why do you think a female might be more attracted to a louder, faster call?
  • Is there some strategy in the call?
  • What might the calls tell a female about the male?
  • Take the Frog Call Quiz! If you were a Spring Peeper, which of the calls would you listen for: Frog Call A, B, C, or D?"

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