Saturday, April 4, 2009


Northern Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

Jeepers Creepers, I almost forgot about the peepers! But two nights ago, while driving past a wetland area, I heard them calling, and what a thrill it was. For me, their evening symphonies are a quintessential springtime event and a performance that is not to be missed. We've had heavy rain in the last 24 hours, so they must be in peeper heaven.

These tiny frogs are found in marshy woods and non-wooded lowlands near freshwater ponds and swamps. They rely heavily on vernal pools, which are fast disappearing due to development, timing their breeding season to make use of these pools, which usually dry up after the tadpoles have transformed into adult frogs and left the water. Although they are good climbers, spring peepers seem to prefer to be on the ground or hiding in leaf litter.

Never mind dinner and a movie ― my idea of a fantastic Saturday night in early April is a walk beside the wetlands when the peepers are in full chorus. To listen, click here:
Spring Peeper (RealAudio sound sample)

Photographs by: Suzanne L. Collins, Center for North American Herpetology

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