rotating banner

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Species Spotlight #19: Cope's Gray Treefrog

I’ve gotta say, I had every intention of writing another edition of The Usual Suspects tonight. But as I was dropping my brother off after our weekly bar trivia night, I heard a familiar sound emanating from the next road over. Cutting through the humid air and din of electrical wires was a distinctly alto guuuuurrrrrr. And again: guuuuuurrrrrrrr

Amazingly enough, I find Cope’s Gray Treefrogs to have quite the distinctive voice. Among frogs, that is. But if you’ve ever been hanging outside sometime around sunset, you might hear an altogether similar sound coming from a pair of birds in the canopy. For whatever reason, the treefrog’s song sounds exactly like the call of a Great Crested Flycatcher. But sometime in the night, the flycatchers will stop calling to each other, and the treefrog chorus will begin.

Check out that crazy patterning in its eyes! I'm not sure why frogs evolved this way, but it's awesome they did.

I’ve never found one of these guys actually calling mid-song, like I did with the Spring Peepers a couple months ago. But every once in a while, on a humid night in summer, I’ll find one clinging to the side of a building under a floodlight, perhaps attracted to the multitude of insects flitting back and forth. The one you see above decided to continue his nightly vigil until midday, and we were able to photograph him. To this day, it remains one of our coolest nature shots, and one we’re not likely to out-do anytime soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment