Mike aka Mr. Toad shot the video above and wrote to us: I am glad you enjoyed my video of spring peepers. It is worth noting that video was taken at the University of Michigan’s ES George Reserve. There are several other frogs that begin calling very early in Michigan, including the wood frog and the chorus frog. A few videos and more information on these frogs can be found at my blog.
There are few more signature sounds in Michigan than a chorus of spring peepers calling. While the peepers fired up early and then stopped during our incredible heatwave, they are back out in force as temps have become more normal. Regarding pseudacris crucifer (Northern Spring Peeper), the Michigan DNR begins:
Spring peepers are one of the earliest callers among the dozen frog species found in Michigan. During the first warm evenings of spring in late March or early April through May, their distinctive single note, high pitched “peep” is considered a harbinger of spring. The intensity of calling increases and can become a deafening chorus during humid evenings or just after a warm spring rain when many males congregate.
Only the male frogs call. They establish territories near the edge of permanent or ephemeral wetlands. They may call from elevated perches of submerged grass or shrubs near the water. The faster and louder a male sings, the more likely he is to attract a mate. (sort of like American Idol I guess)
- The amazing Animal Diversity Web at UM has a great collection on Spring Peepers that includes information about habitat, classification and behavior and also features photos and calls.
- You can see a slideshow of spring peeper photos from Flickr
- There’s also a nice page of peeper pics from UC-Berkley
- Much more on today’s Michigan in Pictures: Signs of Spring in Michigan: Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer)!