Saturday, June 24, 2006

Frog hunting

I'd like to have a pic to show you of the little brown frog that has been calling loudly from the yard and pond all evening long. During a late dinner my husband asked me, "What bird is that?" and with the fans blowing and the rain, I couldn't hear very much so I told him it must be a mockingbird. Ever curious, I stepped outside after dinner and knew it was no mockingbird! I went back in for the flashlight and searched around my neighbor's fence because the sound seemed to be comng from that direction. I didn't find anything and, of course, whatever it was went quiet as soon as I came out with the flashlight. A little while later it started calling again, but this time the sound seemed to be coming from the far back of the yard by the pond. I roamed around for a while with the mosquitos and eventually found this little brown frog with black markings calling from the rocks beside the pond. He's not shy at all and continued to call while I held the flashlight by him.

Just off the top of my head I thought it might be a leopard frog, but the pictures and sound calls I found on the web don't match. Nothing I found matches what this little guy looks/sounds like. Very frustrating! I know just how beginning birdwatchers feel. He's pretty small; not much bigger than my fire-belly toads, if that's any help. And he's very loud and insistent. He hasn't stopped calling at all, even when I let the dog out. I wonder if it could be a toad? Anyone know how to tell the difference? With all the rain we got today, I guess maybe amphibians are on the move. Can anyone take a guess what kind of frog I might have or suggest a website? From close-up, his call sounds sort of like the sound Carolina Wrens make in the fall, when they're scurrying through the underbrush - as if that's any help to you. ;-)

7 comments:

e4 said...

An American toad maybe? I can't say I can imagine what a Carolina wren sounds like in the fall in the underbrush. But the visual description and the passiveness make me think toad.

Here's a good link with various types of calls for various frogs & toads: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/topics/frogCalls.html

We heard four different calls around our pond this Spring, so naturally I had to go googling. I think we eventually figured them all out. Good luck!

MojoMan said...

I love listening to frogs and toads but, other than the common ones like green frogs, bull frogs, peepers and toads, I can't ID them by sound. Toads make a long, high trilling sound and look dry and lumpy compared to smooth, moist-looking frogs. If it's small, maybe it's a tree frog.

John said...

My first thought was some kind of tree frog when you mentioned that it was small and brown. Maybe if you got some pictures it would help with identification.

LauraHinNJ said...

Mojoman and John win the id prize - thanks guys! I hadn't been thinking tree frog at all, but if you listen to the call at this site it sounds exactly like what I was hearing last night (and sort of like a Carolina Wren).

;-)

TDharma said...

well, then, i must have a little tree frog in my yard, too! sometimes quite noisy at night, and like yours, doesn't stop when Tug and Shasta are let out for their evening pee.

Susan Gets Native said...

I have a frog too. Under the fountain in the front yard. But I can't ever seem to find it. It just croaks and croaks...

threecollie said...

How about a grey tree frog? hyla versicolor....they make a lot of noise, are small and can change colors. We just had one found in the engine block of one of our tractors that turned the exact color of a dingy paper label when we put it on the side of our garden pond.