A Feast for the Ears

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Published on: Apr. 2, 1999

Last revision: Nov. 2, 2010

on the Nature Notes material I use," says Conservation Agent Richard Sperber. To prepare for his regular radio program on WHB radio in Carrollton and for his newspaper articles, Sperber says he uses Nature Notes topics for inspiration. "Along with the hunting safety information I broadcast," he says, "I like to let people know about things happening in nature they might see or hear while hunting."

Nature Notes has been recognized by the national Association for Conservation Information, which named Nature Notes programs the best radio program in 1992 ("Bird Song," written by Jim D. Wilson), 1994 ("Roadside Hawks," written by Jim D. Wilson), 1995 ("Dawn Chorus," written by Jim D. Wilson) and 1996 ("Seeds that Stick," written by Tim Smith).

Nature Notes strives to provide accurate, informative and seasonally appropriate information that is also interesting and fun. The programs appeal to urban, suburban and rural residents.

These 90-second capsules of information about dandelions growing in the lawn, June bugs buzzing at the window, soil formation or creatures living in sidewalk cracks help bring the wonders of nature into our everyday lives.

You can listen to Nature Notes at Burr Oak Woods, Powder Valley, Springfield and Runge conservation nature centers or on many radio stations throughout the state. If you can't find them on your favorite stations, ask the program director to contact us about airing Nature Notes as a public service.

The Frog Chorus

by Tom R. Johnson

You may look for your first robin as a sign of spring, but the voices of frogs rise through the air and speak clearly of warmer days.

Spring peepers and chorus frogs call from shallow breeding pools on rainy and warm spring nights. Only the males call. They are luring females to the breeding ponds for mating.

Spring peepers are small frogs about the size of a quarter. Their pinkish tan bodies have a brown, X-shaped marking on the back. Peepers live throughout much of the eastern United States. Chances are you've heard their high-pitched peeping calls even as early as February.

Another widespread spring singer is the western chorus frog, a small, gray frog with dark brown stripes. You can imitate the chorus frog's call by running your thumbnail along the small teeth of a pocket comb. Chorus frogs call on rainy nights now through April. By late March, other kinds of frogs and toads join the nightly chorus, telling us that spring has truly arrived.

This Nature Note is provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation.


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