Backyardsafari's Blog

Environmental Inspiration in Your Own Backyard

Sing for Spring May 1, 2011

Although the weather is still waffling between cold rains and sunny days, it is safe to say that Spring has officially arrived. The trees are green, birds are singing, and thunderstorms rumble across the sky.  Signs of changing seasons are different depending on where you live, of course–for people close to a water source, one of the signs is surely the resounding chorus of frogs and toads.

A wonderful Backyard Safari reader recently sent in this video of an American toad (Bufo americanus) singing for a mate in his backyard.  You can hear another toad singing nearby in the background.  I love watching the way this toad’s throat fills with air with each trill.

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In many species of frogs and toads, the individuals you hear singing are the males. They sing to attract mates.  They make the sound by taking a breath and then pushing the air through the voice box and into a sac in the throat.

This website is specific for Michigan amphibian species, but it is one of the few sites I found that lets you listen to samples of different frog and toad songs. I’ve also heard that if you play the songs outside at night some frogs and toads will answer back if you are present. Sounds like a fun experiment to try!

Have you heard any amphibians calling in your backyard? What other signs of spring do you always count on? What tells you that warm weather is officially here to stay?

As always, if you have any pictures, videos, or stories you’d like to share, please send them in to askbackyardsafari@gmail.com.  I would love to hear from you!

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5 Responses to “Sing for Spring”

  1. Cool post! I hear mating calls every morning and every evening, but not outside. I hear them in my apartment. I breed poison dart frogs, and the Dendrobates leucamelas species I have makes beautiful calls. I love waking up to them.

    • Thanks for commenting and for liking the post, Atomsofthought. It must be so awesome to hear those calls right in your own apartment. Can’t get much closer than that! Thanks for sharing–I hope you keep reading in the future!

  2. Not to worry! I will be back 🙂

  3. murray Says:

    Excellent! You should have seen the dogs ears go up when I played this.


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