9 April 2014
Because I live in the city, I have to leave home to hear frogs calling. Though there are streams and a wetland in Schenley Park, the wetland is too recently restored and probably too isolated to have spring peepers. The park is surrounded by dense city neighborhoods and all of its water flows into a mile-long culvert that takes it to the Monongahela River. Where would frogs and fish come from? Not from downstream.
So I was delighted to hear spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) by the Sunken Garden Trail at Moraine State Park last Sunday, 6 April 2014. I made a point of sitting near the wetland, surrounded by their sound. Hundreds of them called in front of me but I couldn’t see even one because they’re so small and good at hiding. The video above (from Wisconsin) shows how tiny they are.
As a group the peepers were almost deafening but I heard two wood frogs and a single creaking sound among them. It sounded like a western chorus frog but it was probably an angry spring peeper. Wikipedia says, “As in other frogs, an aggressive call is made [by spring peepers] when densities are high. This call is a rising trill closely resembling the breeding call of the southern chorus frog.”
The video below gives you an idea of what I heard. Listen for the quacking of wood frogs at the beginning.
Jeepers creepers, do you hear the peepers?
Update: Check the comments for places where readers have heard peepers in the City!
(videos from YouTube)