Frog Blog

We jumped back into Frog Walk mode for the first time in a little less than a year on April 23. Seven froggers spent a couple of hours from just before dusk through dark looking and listening for frogs (and other wildlife). Conditions had been dry for a couple of weeks prior, and the evening was unseasonably cool along the Four-Mile Creek Greenway. There wasn’t a lot of water to attract or keep the frogs in the area and the cold did not help activity either, but there was just enough to keep things interesting. 

We heard the fast-paced clicking calls of Northern cricket frogs first. These are tiny frogs, no larger than a quarter really, but their calls can carry surprisingly far. There is a very wet marsh on the other side of the creek this year, and that is where the breeding cricket frogs were. We rarely see them on our walks but almost always hear them.

The froggy water on our side of the creek was reduced to a few standing puddles. When this happens the mosquito fish, tadpoles, and other small aquatic life congregates in these puddles. One such puddle held an estimated two hundred leopard frog tadpoles. They were obviously over-crowded and stressed. I was glad rain was on the way the next day. (The rain did materialize and was enough to substantially increase the available water for them).

 Photo by Taylor Piephoff

By this time we had seen a few bullfrogs but were not able to net any to get a closer look. Water volume increased at the large cattail marsh, where the younger participants with the sharp eyes and quick net skills were able to grab a couple of young bullfrogs. Bullfrogs are a bit more tolerant of cold it seems; they were the only species of large frog we were able to catch.

 Photo by Taylor Piephoff

A muskrat swimming along one of the creek branches at close range was an unexpected treat for the whole group. We see much more than frogs on most walks.

 Photo by Taylor Piephoff

Keep an eye on the Bird House Calendar for upcoming walks through the early fall.