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 and egg laying.
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 are found throughout much of the eastern United States. Chances are you’ve heard their high-pitched, peeping call, 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 from now through April. By late March, other kinds of frogs and toads join the nightly chorus, telling us that spring has truly arrived.
Learn about other frog species with the MDC’s Field Guide.