The Thrill of a Trill
Right now vernal pools and other temporary wetlands are filled with the sounds of Spring peepers and wood frogs – if it’s a warm day – you may even hear the trill of the American toad.
Spring peepers are among the first frogs to emerge from their winter rest and known for their unmistakable call. You’ll have to look hard to see one of these frogs, as they are the smallest amphibian in Connecticut, but are brown, tan or even a light pink – but it is the ‘x’ pattern on their back that gives them their scientific name.
Did you know it is the male peeper that makes all the noise?
The largest local species of frog, the American bullfrog, will soon (May) begin to emerge from their muddy winter homes. Bullfrogs are found in a range of colors from green to brown but it is the bright yellow throat of the male frogs that make them especially photogenic. Known for their deep call, some say it even sounds like a mooing cow. What do you think?
Although they look very similar to a bullfrog and are found in similar habitats of ponds, streams, and other bodies of fresh water in the northeastern United States, it is the call of the Green frog that easily sets them apart! You may have heard their high pitch “EEK!” alarm call while hiking around a pond but the male’s breeding call sounds just like a stringed instrument – what do you hear?
All CT amphibians need water to lay their eggs but that doesn’t mean they will always be found in water. The wood frog prefers to spend most of its time in leaf litter and brush where their tan or brownish coloration and raccoon-like mask across their face helps them to camouflage with the environment. Each spring, wood frogs flock to vernal pools for breeding and this year, the quacking sounds of wood frogs was heard starting in late February! Hear for yourself.
These are just a few of the frogs you might see or hear if you safely venture to wetlands throughout the spring and summer seasons! We hope that by exploring nature, you, too, gain an affinity for frogs will join us now and into the future with amphibian monitoring and environmental assessments.
By opening your ears to the vocalizations of local frogs and toads, we hope that you will be inspired to learn more about the animals both on your own and on your next visit to Mystic Aquarium.