Discover Nature NotesMore posts

Chorus of Frogs

Mar 14, 2016

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.

The Boreal Chorus Frog

  • The boreal chorus frog species was long considered the “western chorus frog,” but scientists now recognize it as a separate species.
  • The boreal chorus frog is most abundant in prairies but also occurs on agricultural lands, in large river floodplains, and on the grassy edges of marshes.
  • It is often the first frog to become active in the spring.
  • Boreal chorus frogs eat a variety of small insects and spiders.
  • These frogs help control populations of sometimes-troublesome insects. Also, because they are sensitive to pollutants, they are an indicator species, whose presence and population numbers help us gauge the health of their ecosystem.

Learn about other frog species with the MDC’s Field Guide.


Photo of a western chorus frog
Western Chorus Frog
Western chorus frog


green frog
Green Frog


Spring Peeper
Although they're only the size of your thumb, these little frogs have big voices.

Recent Posts


Hiking for Health and Happiness

Oct 13, 2019

Hike your way to health and happiness with this week's Discover Nature Note.


What About Bobcat?

Oct 06, 2019

What About Bobcat? No baby steps needed for these stealthy creatures that can climb, pounce, and swim. Learn more in this week's Discover Nature Note.


Fall's Tasty Treat

Sep 30, 2019

Eat them green and you'll pucker up like a sunfish. Gather them ripe before the raccoons, and you'll enjoy Missouri's tastiest fall treat-- perfect for pies, breads, and puddings. Persimmons are a homegrown favorite. Discover more including recipes, and what sports use the wood in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Field Guide

Discovering nature from A-Z is one click away


You had fun hunting, catching or gathering your quarry—now have more fun cooking and eating it.
Check out the recipes