Posts Tagged ‘spring song’

Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper

Would you guess that this tiny frog makes a huge noise? Once the Wood frogs and Chorus frogs have sung the first verse of the spring song, the Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and American Toads (Bufo americanus) take over. I strolled down to our wet spot behind the barn the other evening to make this recording of peeps and trills. The peeps are the song, of course, of the Spring Peepers, while the extended trills are American Toads.

Beautiful, an annual miracle. Near the end of the recording, you can hear a flock of Canada Geese passing overhead. At the beginning and end of the recording are a few notes of birdsong. Seabrooke, with her more attuned ear, informs me that the former is a Song Sparrow, and the latter is a Common Yellowthroat. Thanks to Seabrooke for the photos of Peepers and Toads.

For more on Spring Peepers, follow this link to Seabrooke’s post This ones for my peeps.

For more on American Toads, follow this link to Warts and all.


American Toad

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Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica)

Wonderful though it is to hear the voices of the returning migrant birds, the Song of Spring is not sung by birds. Rather, it is sung in trills and peeps and quacks by thousands of tiny frogs as they awaken from a long winter and seek to renew life itself.

I heard the first frog music a week ago, on the evening of Tuesday, April 15, after a lovely mild day. Since then, we’ve had some cooler days, even a dusting of snow, but the frog chorus is growing more persistent, more insistent.

Yesterday, I recorded a homophony of Western Chorus frogs and Wood frogs when I stopped by a wetland on my way home. Listen here:

The trilly voices are the chorus frogs, while the clacky, quacky voices are the wood frogs. It’s hard to believe that such tiny beings create such a clamorous outpouring. Chorus frogs range from about .75 to 1.5 inches long, while wood frogs are a bit larger, 1.4 to 3.3 inches in length.

Thanks to Seabrooke for the use of these two photographs of the tiny singers, which she took last Tuesday night.


Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris t. triseriata)

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A Song in His Heart


Long before the first robin returns from his winter down south, birds are getting the spring season underway. For the past week or so, I have noticed a cardinal singing each morning when I head out to look after the horses. I stopped and took a photograph of the singer this morning. He was perched high up in an ash tree, enjoying the bright morning sun that was setting off his red feather coat. He was singing a short version of his song, Cheer! Cheer! Cheer!

Cardinals are talented singers with a good repertoire. Their songs variously sound to me like Birdie! Birdie! Birdie! or Breaker! Breaker! or Whit! Whit! Whit! The crows, who are quiet over the winter, are becoming more raucous too. They generally stay at some remove from the house, but I can hear them conversing down near the woods now. Below the cardinal, a blue jay was waiting in the same tree. He was more interested in the peanuts I was stocking the feeder with than any early spring love song.


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