Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Learning Opportunities - Frogs

During our week in Oregon, looking in on family, we were happy to discover spring in full bloom.  Yards were green, and filled with flowers, weeds, ladybugs, and frogs - lots and lots of tiny frogs.

Always wash your hands after touching reptiles or amphibians.

They hopped about in the rain soaked grass by day, and serenaded us with a loud chorus of ribbiting from the ditches in the evenings.  Checking the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website, once we were home, we discovered the evening singing we heard was actually the males' spring mating call. 

The singing is also the reason these frogs are often called Chorus Frogs, though their more official name is Pacific Treefrogs.

The Pacific Treefrog, which strangely enough - does not live in trees, is one of 12 species of frogs native to Oregon (again, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife). 

By doing a quick search for Treefrogs by name, we discovered NatureMapping's Washington Animal Fact Page, where we learned Treefrogs are easy to identify due to:
  •  their small size (adults can be up to two inches long), 
  • the stripe over their eyes, 
  • and their rounded toe-pads. 

They come in colors from lime green to a bronze brown, and can apparently change between green and brown in minutes, based on the air temperature and humidity around them.

Frogs can be spotted year round, but because they go into a hibernation-like torpor when the weather is too hot or cold, spring is an excellent time to spot them in action, as we did in the yards and ditches of Oregon.

What's in your yard this spring? 


Ticia said...

I've nearly wrecked our car pointing out all of the bluebonnets out and about this spring though. It's gorgeous.

I love frogs.

Phyllis said...

What fun! I am afraid that spring has not come to our area yet. We had a snow storm just the other day. I love that last picture!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Phyllis - Yes, it was a shock to our systems to find spring so far along in Oregon, and then return to semi-wintry Montana. We've got another month or so of on-again-off-again snow and sun here before we really get into spring. It's nice to know flowers are blooming somewhere, though :)

Anonymous said...

We have bunches of tiny frogs in our backyard as well. They are sooooo loud at night!!

MaryAnne said...

Those are really cute frogs! When we lived in France, about once a year the frogs would completely invade our area - they would cover the roads.

Anonymous said...

These frogs are awesome! Oregon is great, and so pretty in winter, and so green in general :D