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  • Writer's pictureLucy

I heard quacking

Updated: May 23, 2020

At 3 AM on March 11, I thought I heard a noise outside, so I opened my window. There was quacking in my own backyard! For me, I know spring is here when the wood frogs start quacking. I am way into wood frogs. I have heard people refer to me as the frog lady or, as I prefer, frog woman. Everyone Outside programs for children and families began when I started my Frog Friday outings in 2010 (more on this another time).

I had wood frogs in my personal vernal pool (click here for more about vernal pools). Last year, for my birthday, my husband gave me the materials to make a "pond". I did not expect the wood frogs would actually come.

I was was very excited a few nights later to see there were eggs. The quacking of the males had actually attracted females to my new vernal pool. Each one of these egg masses is laid by 1 female and contains over ~1000 eggs.

The next warm night when I heard quacking, I went out to see if the calling of the males would bring more females. I took this video. Can you see how the quacking is made? Are they inflating their throats like the spring peepers that are also calling now?

Below is a photo of two spring peepers and a wood frog. You can see how the peepers throat is expanded to make the peeping sound.

The video (above) and the photo (below) show a pair of wood frogs in amplexus.

The male holds onto the female like this until she is ready to lay her eggs (photo by Paul Benjunas).

I saw couple pairs in amplexus and the next morning (3/21/20), where there had been 1 egg mass (laid a week ago), there were now 5 egg masses.

If you keep your eyes and ears open, it is amazing what you can discover!

Share what you notice with a family member, friend or neighbor.

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