Thursday, April 24, 2008

That time of year

My friends here follow bird calls- they are mostly banders by trade. They seem to know every which mating noise and from whence and who it came. And yes you wonder how such a small beastie could make such a big racket. But birds are flying machines and they are made to hold a lot of air- maybe it isn't so crazy that they could cause a ruckus.

But I follow a different set of romance songs. First and always it is the peepers. Then the wood frogs, then the green. Now the tree frogs and the American toads. Peepers are the smallest frogs around but they consistently make the biggest noise. Unfortunately they all sound the same on the surface except for the occasional excited trill. Wood frogs sound more like ducks and while tree frogs sound happy their burbles don't exactly inspire. My favorite songs emanate from the toads. Long echoing trills stretching in to minutes and all toads at a different pitch and timing harmonizing with each other. But I guess this makes sense too. Honestly if you want to get some action, you need to sound fantastic if you look like a Bufo.

"I have always liked frogs. I liked them since before becoming a zoologist, and nothing I have had to learn about them since has marred the attachment. I like "looks" of frogs and their outlook. And especially the way they get together in wet places on warm nights and sing about sex." -- Dr. Archie Carr

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