Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No Peepers

Mr W and I attended the frog survey training yesterday. They were very organized, and gave us our packets, and maps and CDs and we were out of there in under an hour. The training was at a natural area, an old farm, and we were in a remodeled farm house. Very peaceful, and in my opinion would be a great place to come to work each morning. Mr W's assessment: "it's boring". I have come to realize that this isn't a slam, it's a code word for stuff he either doesn't see the whole picture of, or otherwise doesn't understand.

Turns out there are only about a half dozen frog and toad species that we'll be expected to see, (no Peepers) with another half dozen that are rare, but possible. I'm into rarity, but that will be another series of posts someday. So we put the CD in the car stereo right away, and got to hear the different calls. If I can find sound files, I'll post them here because the calls are very distinctive. It is amazing, the diversity of calls of stuff that people lump together as "frogs".

As far as the list goes, we'll be looking for: But before I give that, I'll share a pet peeve I have. The "guide" they gave us to reptiles and amphibians doesn't have the scientific name for these creatures, only the common name. I think it is a disservice, because common names (aside from birds) are not under anyone's control. Give me the latin name alongside the common name, please, because there's only one of those for each critter.

OK, the list:

Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana

Northern Leopard Frog Rana pipiens

Woodhouse's Toad Bufo woodhousii

Western Chorus Frog Pseudacris triseriata

Plains Spadefoot Spea bombifrons

My current favorite song is that of the Western Chorus Frog, which sounds like a thumb across a comb. Pictured above.

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.