Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring has sprung

It's official, spring has sprung.  Not because of the date on the calendar but because tonight is the first night that we've heard the spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer).  It got up to a little above 60 F today so I left work early (don't tell anyone).  Don't be too jealous though, since I spent the afternoon walking around my relatively large yard picking up sticks and dog poop (with a shovel!) now that the snow's melted.

Right after the sun set, we started hearing the peepers (we've been waiting for them).  Peepers are tiny frogs (typically less than an inch long) and various shades of brown in color.  They're hard to see, I've only seen them up close because my daughter, a nature girl, has been able to catch them at times.  Their scientific name Pseudacris is from the Greek for "false locust" due to their vocalization and crucifer refers to the dark cross (an X-shape) on their back.

Males use their throat sack to make a single high-pitched call 15-25 times a minute to attract a female. Click here to listen to their singing.

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